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July 23, 2019
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Vancleave

The Mystery of Pine Island

Pine Island is located at Latitude 30 degrees 29 minutes and 12.7 seconds north by Longitude 88 degrees 37 minutes and 48.1 seconds West. It has an elevation of only three feet; however, that is considered as it is located on the Bluff Creek (a contributory to the West Pascagoula River); and surrounded by water on all sides. The island is uninhabited and accessible only by boat, but hardly a day goes by that you won’t find people enjoying the island.

The amenities of Pine Island are numerous. There is a small beach where you can sit and watch all kinds of waterworks: skiing, tubing, swimming, fishing, and boating. Permanent wood steps lead up six or so feet (depending on the tide) to the bluff above. There you will find about an acre of well-maintained grass, a small pavilion equipped with a large BBQ grill and tall oak and pine trees for shade. It’s a perfect setting for family fun: camping, grilling out, yard games and more. On special occasions, you will find well-organized events such as the Fourth of July fireworks, an Easter Egg Hunt or a Memorial Day celebration.

Although the island is privately owned, anyone is welcome. However, there are rules for visitors clearly stated on a large billboard sign:

  • Clean up your mess
  • BBQ grills are community property please share and clean up after use
  • NO breaking glass
  • Respect other boaters and help your neighbors
  • Please observe a NO wake zone

This reporter is a frequent visitor to the island and had the opportunity to interview a grandfather having fun with his four grandchildren. Here are their comments:

Grandfather – “I like Pine Island because there is a comradery here between the people. Everyone here seems to get along and have fun. I understand that there is a group that takes care of the Island, and I appreciate what they do and are thankful we can have this place to have fun with the kids.”
Maddy (age 11): “It’s a great place to meet and play with other kids and also my friends I know from school.”
Morgan (age 10): “I like to swim; the water is deep, and I can jump from the boat and there is a good view when you stand on top of the bluff.”
Mat (age 8): “I just like to go there.”
Malcolm (age 3): “I like the beach.”

So, what is the mystery of Pine Island? Who mows the grass? Who built the amenities? Who organizes the events? The Mystic Krewe of Pine Island!

Twenty-nine years ago, a group of frequent visitors to the island decided to start a Mardi Gras krewe. Today, there are more than 400 members. Membership is free and their activities are entirely funded by various donations and fundraisers: annual Mardi Gras ball and Mardi Gras parade, Yearly Halloween Party and T-shirt sales.

“We are always interested in more members all you have to do is go to our FB page and sign up, our activities take many people to accomplish and we can always use more hands that are willing to be involved,” said Vicki Ladner, a board member of the Krewe.

The Krewe’s next project on Pine Island is to build a bulkhead to protect an ancient oak growing too close to the river. This oak is always adorned with wreaths, flags, and decorations.

Pine Island is a perfect example of community support, involvement, and good fun! Hope you get to visit.

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