Columbia Breaks Ground on Ecology Restoration Project

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 COLUMBIA - City Officials and citizens attended a groundbreaking ceremony Thursday to mark the start of the restoration of a natural habitat area near the MKT trail at Hinkson Creek. The area used to be the site of a city waste water treatment plant.

The goals of the project include planting native trees, removing invasive plat species and creating a wetland habitat that wildlife can thrive in.

"We think creating this area along the trail will not only help the environment but it will create an additional area of natural beauty for the trail users to enjoy and some additional recreational opportunities because we are going to route some trails through the area as well," Columbia Parks and Recreation Director Mike Hood said.

The building that housed the water treatment plant will be turned into an observation deck for residents to view the area as well.

Diane Rymph walks on the trail almost daily with her husband, Raymond.

"We like to walk and we see turtles and deer and birds everyday when we walk down the trail. We're looking forward to hopefully seeing even more wild life," Rymph said.

The project was made possible through a variety of grants including a $40,000 contribution from 3M. The project will also be paid for by funds from the voter approved park sales tax.