Since 2004, an organization made-up strictly of volunteers has been instrumental in preserving and improving the facilities of Winston County’s treasured Legion State Park. Aptly named “Friends of Legion State Park,” the group meets regularly and raises money and devotes time to helping the park succeed when funding and staffing by the State have been difficult.
The history of the group’s formation and its efforts has been journaled by one of its founding members, retired registered forester Kline Shepherd. Shepherd, an octogenarian, recalls his being led to become involved in the parks’ restoration as being nothing short of ‘divine intervention.’ He reverently describes the many successes that happened as the group was being formed which he says simply can’t be explained by any other means and speaks fondly of the commitment that all the members of Friends displayed as they dutifully took-on their responsibilities.
On its website, the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks promotes the park in complimentary terms. “The fourth of the original state parks developed by the Civilian Conservation Corps, Legion State Park remains as unspoiled today as when the Choctaw Indian Nation first inhabited the area centuries ago. Hidden in the red hill country of Mississippi, Legion State Park strikes the perfect balance of natural beauty and modern comfort, with all man-made structures in the park designed to complement the pristine beauty of the area. Of particular interest is Legion Lodge, a hand-hewn log structure that has remained unaltered since its construction in the 1930s.”