Sunflower River Project

The Sunflower River runs through the middle of Clarksdale and adjacent to Downtown. It was at one time navigable and was fed by the Mississippi Alluvial aquifer. While the aquifer constantly replenishes itself, it can no longer keep up with agricultural irrigation and still feed the river.

A project was undertaken to reclaim the river through a series of projects. A new water source was identified, requiring a channel to be constructed linking Swan Lake with the river. Several wells were established to supplement lake levels during the two months of dry season. The objective of these projects was to achieve a healthy flow in the river to allow it to keep itself clearer.

The current project involves the construction of a weir (low head dam) to maintain a higher channel level (about three feet higher) and widen the channel by approximately 15 ft. through the public areas of the river.

All of the surveying has been completed, engineering and design of the weir has been accomplished and we are waiting for a dry period to construct the weir.

Once the weir is in place, three launch ramps and parking areas will be constructed for public access and the river will be stocked with appropriate species of fish.

Businesses are already preparing new services and shops to support the water amenity that will be created by the project.

If you would like to read more, feel free to download the project white paper.

River Recreational Trails

Phase One of the Sunflower River Hiking and Biking Trail is nearing completion with the first half-mile of asphalt trail. The trailhead is at Soldiers' Filed, just north of First Street off of Riverside Drive.

When completed, a parking area will be available above Soldiers' Field and the trail will be striped for Hiking and Biking lanes. There will be rest and picnic areas along the trail to enjoy the natural environment hidden away just below the urban activity of Downtown.

Subsequent phases, as funding becomes available, will be designed to eventually wind around the developed river on both sides from State Street to north of First Street. The trails will tie into the Cultural Heritage Walking Trail planned for the historic areas of Downtown at Martin Luther King, J. Park.

Phase One was made possible by a $100,000 National Recreational Trails Grant administered by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks. Matching funds for the grant were provided by the City of Clarksdale and the total project cost was $125,000.
Clarksdale Revitalization, Inc.    (501c3)    | 300 Issaquena Ave, Clarksdale, MS  38614  |  (662) 621-8004    © 2009 - 2010