On July 7, 2012 the Bayou Auguste Neighborhood Wetland Park received a Citation Award from the Mississippi Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. David Perkes, Britton Jones, and Sarah Jones of the Gulf Coast Community Design Studio (GCCDS), an outreach program of Mississippi State University’s College of Architecture, Art + Design, accepted the award on behalf of the partnership responsible for the restoration work on Bayou Auguste. The project is a collaborative effort between the GCCDS, Biloxi Housing Authority, City of Biloxi, Biloxi Public Schools, Cypress Environmental Science and Management, and the Land Trust for the Mississippi Coastal Plain.
With grant funding, as well as in-kind donations and volunteer labor, the partnership restored one acre of wetland habitat along Bayou Auguste in East Biloxi’s Hope VI neighborhood. Like many other wetland habitats along the coast, Bayou Auguste has been seriously impacted over time. Wetlands along the bayou were filled in and its natural meandering course was straightened, forming a steeply cut channel that degraded the bayou’s function and aesthetic appeal. To reveal the site’s social and ecological potential, the project reshaped the stream banks to create tidal marsh habitat and open views into the constructed wetland. The newly formed Bayou Auguste Wetland Park provides a unique opportunity for the community to enjoy wildlife in their own neighborhood.
Each year the AIA chooses architecture professionals from another state to review project submissions and assign award winners. This year the jury was lead by Arkansas Architect Marlon Blackwell. The jury commented that the “design work and implementation brought back the complexity of the bayou,” and “…the richness of the environment,” as well as demonstrating, “…an alternative model to how we develop the land.” Since the landscape is newly planted and still reaching maturity it was pointed out that the “Bayou needs to evolve and grow and needs to be evaluated again in a few years.”
“It is an honor to be recognized by the Mississippi AIA for the value and importance this type of project brings to the communities and environments of the Gulf Coast,” said Britton Jones, Landscape Architect with GCCDS. “We are very grateful for all of the hard work and support we had from our project partners and volunteers. None of this would have been possible without their help.”
The partnership has been awarded grant funding to restore another section of Bayou Auguste this Fall and continues to search for funding opportunities to expand restoration efforts into the future as well as develop a series of nature trails, piers, and overlooks for the Bayou Auguste Neighborhood Wetland Park.
Additional information about the project can be found at