First discovered by the Spanish explorers in 1540, the region was later claimed by the French. The first permanent settlement was established by the French in 1699. Great Britain took over the area in 1763 after the French and Indian Wars, ceding it to the U.S. in 1783 after the Revolution. In 1817 Mississippi became a state.
White oaks, hickory, maple, and magnolia grow in the forests of the uplands. Others include various willows and gums and longleaf pine. Listed as endangered were the Louisiana quillwort, pondberry and American chaffseed.
Common among the state’s mammals are the opossum, eastern mole, armadillo, coyote, mink, white-tailed deer, striped skunk, and diverse bats and mice. Listed as threatened or endangered are the American and Louisiana black bears, eastern indigo snake, Indiana bat, Mississippi sandhill crane, bald eagle, brown pelican, red-cockaded woodpecker, and five species of sea turtle.
The University of Mississippi is committed to environmental stewardship and leadership in sustainability. Their comprehensive recycling program includes recycling paper and cardboard, phonebooks, softback textbooks, magazines, paper bags, folders, aluminum and steel cans, plastic bottles and jugs, cell phones, light bulbs, batteries; energy management with SmartSynch SmartMeters that monitor, analyze and report on energy utilization in buildings and campuses reducing electricity consumption and carbon emissions, compare building energy usage and monitor the weather’s impact on energy utilization, while reducing its carbon footprint. The Green Campaign is a green initiative with a mission to build institutional learning capabilities that support improvements in building design and operations, landscaping, energy and water conservation, waste minimization, recycling and services.
The University has made a commitment that all new buildings on campus will be LEED Certified. The Physical Plant Department has enhanced its building program with a view to have each building to be responsible for “green” outreach, education and implementation.
The mission of Bike-Sharing Program is to promote bicycling as a desirable means of transportation in a greater effort to strengthen a culture of sustainability. The University and the City have worked to create an infrastructure to enable this type of environment, and look to expand alternative forms of transportation even further in the future. Other initiatives being explored include car-sharing, ride-sharing, and upgrading the bike-share program to a third generation, fully automated system.
Amongst the other green initiatives that the state has taken include: Energy Star rated equipment in use; carbon neutral and hybrid vehicle/transportation service in action; use of email instead of paper for communication and documentation; all administrative areas will have paper recycling program; recycling program for light bulb ballasts, light bulbs and batteries; use of bio-fuels; electric items turned off when not in use; use of electronic thermostats with pre-set settings to minimize energy consumption; use of low flow faucet aerators; use of environmentally friendly paints, etc.