There's a gorgeous stretch along the Mississippi on the western edge
of Desoto County. You can watch barges glide gracefully by through Horn Lake
Pass, while Butterflies rest in the grass among the Tall Trees. It's called
Bass Landing, the future site of Hernando Desoto Park. But if this is to become
a park in the future, there are problems here that have to be dealt with.
There are beer cans, trash, spent rifle, shotgun and pistol ammo all
over the future park site. There's a sign that says "no littering, no alcohol
and no shooting." It is riddled with jagged bullet holes.
Sheriff Bill Rasco says the Board of Supervisors is working to
pass a gun ordinance because of the county's growing Greenway program. One of
the areas of concern in particular is Bass Landing and the future Hernando-Desoto
County Park site.
"It's just one of those things that people need to realize. This is
county, but this is a growing county, and there are not many places where you can
go practice shooting anymore," says Rasco.
The gun ordinance will be discussed at a public hearing. Permit holders
and sportsman's rights will be taken into consideration. There is thought that
the new Greenway will bring Desoto County a shot in the arm. But, the hope is
there are no errant shots fired in what is destined to become a park area along
the river. In order for this to become a park, the shooting, drinking and
trashing of the property is going to have to stop.
"Traffic is going to increase at Bass Landing, that is what the
Greenway is all about, getting in shape and getting involved and doing things
to relax," says Rasco.