DESOTO COUNTY, MS (abc24.com) - DeSoto County wants Mother Nature to help it make money, with the idea that adding parks and walking trails will bring business into the county.
"It's a quality of life issue," says Supervisor Mark Gardner. He adds so-called "green spaces" like parks and trails can turn into green.
"Whether it's lakes and hiking trails or disk golf and tennis courts, you want more parks and recreational opportunities, but they're also an economic development tool. When we're recruiting new businesses, they always ask about quality of life."
The board is focusing on developing a plan for the county's current and future park projects.
"We have them somewhat fragmented now," Gardner says. "Ultimately we'd like all that to tie together."
From Southaven to Hernando, Desoto will eventually have 200 miles of green spaces, including a recent 21-acre donation.
"Sheriff Rasco's family just donated some land to the greenways," Gardner says.
It's close to Southaven High School and the county would like to turn it into an outdoor classroom for students. "They can walk over there and study," says Gardner.
"Our parks commission in the past, they just never met because the county didn't direct them with a whole lot to do."
Now they plan to have their hands full.