Interest, enthusiasm abounds for B’ville Mounds site visitors
I pulled into the new Batesville Mounds parking lot with a late afternoon coffee in hand Tuesday to savor the brew and watch for the first stars to appear as the sky darkened. Certainly there are places with less competition from ground light, but I wasn’t contemplating serious astronomy.
Another vehicle had pulled into the parking lot less than a minute behind me. I watched as a group of people who were likely friends and/or family unloaded. They looked like teens-to-20s with a youngster about age four in the party. Within a few seconds, I heard exclamations of awe, ooh and ahh as they approached the newly erected signs that help visitors interpret and understand the unique surroundings.
(A word about those signs: They are the creation of Angela Clanton who has also guided much of the renovation and visual improvements on the Batesville Square. Meredith Fleming at the Panola Partnership had sent me copies of Clanton’s artwork before the signs had been completed, and I was so taken that I almost could not stop looking at it long enough to finish an after-deadline story about the Mounds opening. It was so effective at helping me visualize what was once there and where it fit in with what we can see now.)
And from the continued exclamations of the other visitors, I am not alone in my admiration of those signs. The other visitors Tuesday evening were using the lights from their cell phones to look at the art and read about the place. I could hear in their voices enthusiasm for what they were reading. One of them, standing at Clanton’s rendition of a pavilion-type structure (with restrooms) that is the next step in Batesville Mounds project, was enthralled that it was going to be built.
They were soon out of sight, down the sidewalk leading west into the darkness. I could keep track of their whereabouts because they were constantly using their phones to illuminate something.
After enough stars had shown themselves I returned to my car and drove away, thinking about how excited those people had been discovering that site when it was too dark to see most everything there. Couple that with interest shown during the opening ceremony last week and since and I think it bodes well for Batesville to continue development at the Mounds. Interest is booming.