COLUMBIA — Runners and others who utilize the city’s MKT trail might soon have new scenery to complement the jogging music on their iPods.
Columbia Parks and Recreation Director Mike Hood confirmed the renovation to “restore natural area” along the MKT trail that is planned for this fall.
The Urban Ecology Restoration Project is partly funded by a $40,000 3M Foundation Environmental Stewardship Grant.
This is the first time that the 3M Corporation in Columbia has teamed up with the Parks and Recreation department in a public/private partnership.
Hood said that Columbia’s Parks and Recreation department has been “interested in making the land (along the trail) into a more natural environment” for more than five years.
The project is scheduled to include earthwork, such as digging, and is planned to continue throughout the winter.
During the spring, the department plans to begin woodland and wetland restoration. It wants to plant native grasses and trees to make the land more “attractive,” Hood said.
Brett O'Brien, Columbia Parks and Recreation supervisor of natural resources, confirmed that the Urban Ecology Restoration Project is planned for the area close to the intersection of Flat Branch and Hinkson creeks. It is scheduled to be close to mile marker 2 along the MKT trail, O'Brien said.
A ceremony is scheduled before the actual earthwork, according to a tentative 3M time frame from Parks and Recreation.
The Urban Ecology Restoration Project is part of continuing the city’s sustainability goals and bringing a more natural environment to those using the MKT trail, Hood said.