By Barbara Qualls
The Clinton Community Nature Center is a 33-acre site in the town of Clinton, just to the west of Jackson. The historic land donated by the Price family is administered and maintained by volunteers. It includes a portion of the original Natchez Trace, other historical sites and a butterfly garden. There are 2.5 miles of all-weather gravel trails, featuring specimen trees; these and other native plants (including 22 fern species) are clearly labeled.
There are two marked handicap parking spaces. Most trails do not have steps, but are gentle gravel-lined slopes with benches interspersed. The building next to the parking area has restrooms, a small gift shop and a donation box. Entrance is free. The Nature Center is open from 7:00 a.m. to dusk, 365 days a year. Maps to the trails are located in a mailbox to the left of the bulletin board, or inside.
The area is in subdivision, backed by about 100 acres of former pasture, reverting to woods. Anyone wishing to have quiet walks on nice trails with historic ambiance will enjoy this area. The arboretum-like markers and educational displays will delight plant and butterfly enthusiasts. The native flowers should be at their best March through June.
Native plants are thick, providing ample opportunity for birds to find fruits, nuts and insects. Common bird species include Carolina Wren, C. Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, Cardinal, Mockingbird, Brown Thrasher, Wood Thrush, Blue Jay, Red-bellied and Downey Woodpeckers, White-eyed Vireo. Although I have not seen/heard them, this seems an excellent place for Screech and Barred Owls. During migrations warblers of many species stop over. A creek and other wet areas attract birds and animals during dry months.
Springridge Rd turns into Clinton Parkway. Turn left on E. College, right on Monroe, right on E. Leake. Go under bridge and cross the RR Tracks for Dunton Rd. Go a half mile to stop sign at top of hill. The entrance is to the left between two houses, so look carefully for driveway. Please watch the speed limit signs as this is a residential area with 20-mph limits on many streets.
Jackson Audubon Society
Webpage SA 2009