Thursday, April 5, 2012
Redbuds provide refreshing sight
By MARY MINOR
The ribbon cutting on the last segment opening Highway 78 from the Alabama State Line to the Tennessee State Line was Saturday, Aug. 6, 1994.
Zack Stewart was the Northern District highway commissioner and served in that capacity for 20 years (1984-2004).
Following the completion of the highway, Stewart was on a trip to Starkville for a meeting and as he traveled on Highway 82, he noticed the beautiful redbud trees in bloom along the highway between Starkville and Mayhew Junction.
“It was such a wonderful sight that I dreamed of one day having a redbud trail along Highway 78,” Stewart said.
“At the next commission meeting, I brought up the idea and all members agreed. I then wanted to do a demonstration in my district and the roadside maintenance crew developed a plan and trees were planted the next year.”
In June 1996 his dream came true as the native wild redbud trees, along with flowering cherry and dogwood trees, were planted along a span of 118 miles on both sides of Highway 78.
This year, during their peak blooming period, one could not ask for a more refreshing sight. The dogwoods are now in bloom and it is a pleasure to travel from place to place.
Travelers and Marshall County residents are now enjoying the rewards of an idea that came to fruition.
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