City of Columbia works to improve Rock Quarry

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COLUMBIA - More than 20 volunteers showed up to help clean an area off of Rock Quarry Road on Friday. The area was littered with everything from from old tires to plastic bottles and other miscellaneous objects. 

Community conservationist Danielle Fox said the first step to the process was getting rid of the trees that covered the area to prevent future electrical problems.

"The trees were removed for safety concerns regarding the power lines," Fox said. "But instead of putting the trees back, we'd like to restore it to our native grasses and forbs and wildflowers."

Fox said earlier this year her and another city worker went to the area to "seed" it. She said eventually wildflowers and other plants that help the environment will grow there.

Fox explained that the plants will help with biodiversity and increase pollination especially within the Monarch butterfly and bee populations. She added that bees have seen a "massive decline" over the past several years.

Volunteer Jaffery James said he enjoys doing service projects because trash build-up can harm more than just people.

"The earth is for everyone and not just for who's here right now or for humans but for animals as well," James said.  

Another volunteer said even though the area is small and doesn't seem like it would make much of an impact, it's a start.

Fox said even though the area is small, the impact is big. 

"Everything that flows down from this road, flows down into this swale and goes straight into the Hinkson creek and the creek ends up in the Missouri river," she said. 

Fox said the project in its entirety could take anywhere from two to three years.