New Columbia Park Opens

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COLUMBIA - Columbia's newest park sat fairly empty Thursday, two days after city officials opened it for public use. Lange Park has a playground, a non-reservable shelter with picnic tables and an open field, all available for public use. The parks is right next to Lange Middle School, which means park goers can use the 400-meter track there during non-school hours.

There is also a gravel walking trail that is one-third of a mile, when used in conjunction with the sidewalk on Smiley Lane.

Lange Park took about two and a half years to plan and construct. The park is on the property of John B. Lange Middle School but maintained by Columbia Parks and Recreation.

Toney Lowery, senior parks planner for Columbia Parks and Recreation, said the project finished under budget. He said Lange Park is a positive thing for for both the school and Parks and Recreation department.

"[School workers] were just having to maintain [the area], having to mow it all all the time. So basically what happened was we were allowed to build the park and we'll maintain it," Lowery said. "They'll have less expense. It was rarely being used anyway so it's kind of a win-win." 

There is no parking lot for the park; residents should walk or park in the surrounding neighborhood.

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