Bike ride program raises awareness about local water protection

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COLUMBIA - Bicyclists got to cruise along local parks and trails on Sunday. It is a part of the city's GetAbout Columbia Cruise the Creeks Bicycle Ride Series. Sunday's ride was the first of three guided rides and was titled, "Bikes and Trees; Bringing Green Interests Together."

Participants learned about local nature and got helpful tips on how to identify area trees while riding along a 9-mile ride along the MKT and Hinkson Creek trails.

Dan Schneiderjohn volunteers for the event every year. He is a local expert on Columbia trees and gave unique perspectives to the cyclists on the educational ride.

"My goal in doing this is to get more people out and enjoy nature and hopefully they will learn something about it and they will learn to how to respect it," Schneiderjohn said.

The bike ride program also raises awareness about the importance of keeping the local waterways in Columbia clean. The program partners with the Public Works Stormwater Utility Education Program in hopes to teach residents about what stormwater is and how it gets polluted.

Mike Heimos is the city's stormwater educator and also a participant of the bike ride series. 

"Cruise the Creeks is just another tool that we use to educate people on our local watersheds," Heimos said. "In Columbia, we are like any other place in the United States. Folks litter unfortunately."

Program participant and avid bike rider, Nancy Rezabeck, also agrees that the city's waterways have a litter problem. She thinks that the city could do more to prevent the litter in the creeks. 

"It would be kind of nice if they had little groups that had sections they went and every month and did it," Rezabeck said. 

To learn more about the city's stormwater education program click here. To learn about the future dates of the bike ride series click here.

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