Senator Walsh Urges Citizens to Attend May 4th Columbia Bottom 10th Anniversary Event

State Senator Gina Walsh, D-Bellefontaine Neighbors, encourages local citizens to take part in the Columbia Conservation Area’s upcoming 10th anniversary, which will include a number of free and educational programs  this Sunday, May 4.

“For 10 years, the Columbia Conservation Area, and the wonderful conservation employees who run it, has consistently gone above and beyond in serving our area,” said Sen. Walsh. “We’re incredibly lucky to have both a great state conservation department and a fantastic conservation area in our district. Please join us is celebrating its anniversary.”

Columbia Bottom Conservation Area is located at the Confluence of North America’s two largest rivers. The area’s Howard and Joyce Wood Education and Visitor Center was dedicated on May 27, 2004. To commemorate the anniversary, the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) will host “Ten Years, Ten Ways to Celebrate!”, a series of special free programs for the public on Sunday, May 4.

Columbia Bottom will offer a number of activities throughout the day, from sunrise to sunset, designed to help visitors discover the natural resources at the conservation area and learn about its heritage. These include:

• An early morning “golden hour” hike at the Confluence;

• A tour of the various habitats of the area, with binoculars and spotting scopes supplied;

•˜  Hayrides scheduled between noon and 5:15 p.m.; • Photo contest;

•  A self-guided geocaching activity, with GPS units available for check out;

•  Bike the Bottom, a naturalist-lead bike tour to explore regrowth and regeneration of Columbia Bottom after last year’s flooding;

•  A bird watching walk along the River’s Edge Trail; and an    evening sunset observance.

In addition, a special pictorial display, “A Barn Story,” will show the history of Columbia Bottom’s Howard and Joyce Wood Education and Visitor Center. The structure is based around the old barn that stood at the same spot on the area. The wooden post and beam skeleton from that original structure can still be seen in the current visitor center.

The department purchased this 4,318-acre tract in 1997 to create an urban conservation area. The area includes a view of the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi rivers, more than 6.5 miles of river frontage, about 800 acres of bottomland forest and a 110-acre island.

The Missouri Department of Conservation is managing Columbia Bottom to create a mosaic of bottomland habitats that includes shallow wetlands, bottomland hardwoods and prairie. These habitats attract a wide variety of resident and migratory wildlife.

Columbia Bottom Conservation Area is located at 801 Strodtman Rd., in north St. Louis County. The area can be reached by taking the Riverview Drive Exit from I-270 and travelling north approximately three miles.

For a full schedule and starting times of activities, go to mdc.mo.gov/node/298. All activities are free, but some require pre-registration. For more information or to make reservations, call (314) 877-6014.



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