COLUMBIA — The City Council gave the green light Monday evening to begin construction of the Darwin and Axie Hindman Discovery Garden at Stephens Lake Park.
“This project provides aesthetic (value) and education to the park,” Columbia Parks and Recreation Director Mike Hood said. “It is going to be an outstanding addition to the park.”
More than $78,000 has been raised to fund the garden’s construction, surpassing the fundraising subcommittee's goal of $60,000. Former City Manager Ray Beck and Hank Waters, publisher of the Columbia Daily Tribune, co-chaired the committee, and the Columbia Garden Club donated an additional $2,500 for a single table shelter in the garden.
The Discovery Garden is being built in honor of former Mayor Darwin Hindman and his wife Axie, and will feature three gardens.
Fifth Ward Councilwoman Laura Nauser raised questions about the estimated $15,000 to $30,000 annual cost to maintain the garden. Hood said that was a "fair estimate" based on the labor-intensive nature of the garden's upkeep but that volunteers will be recruited to help.
Construction on the project is scheduled to begin this winter with an estimated completion date of spring 2012.