COLUMBIA — The Parks and Recreation Commission released the final master plan for a long-awaited community park Thursday evening.
The 89.5-acre Bonnie View Park has been in the planning stages since 2003. It is located a mile southwest of the Stadium Boulevard and Broadway intersection, directly adjacent to Fairview Park.
Interested party meetings, online surveys and focus groups informed the commission and shaped the final proposal.
The new master plan includes an 80-vehicle parking lot, an Americans with Disabilities Act-accessible trail, a connector trail to Fairview Elementary, a shelter with electricity and a restroom.
“A lot of the feedback we got was to leave this a nature area since it’s such a beautiful site,” Parks and Recreation Director Mike Hood said.
In addition to man-made amenities, the park will feature a 2.5-acre prairie and a native flower restoration area. An outdoor classroom that will seat 25 students was also proposed for the prairie.
“We see this as an educational environment so we try to incorporate different types of habitats,” Hood said.
Among the proposed, yet unfunded, plans are an additional 5-acre nature restoration area, a nature exploration playground, a 12-acre tall grass prairie area and a savanna and forest restoration area.
“We’ve eliminated a few elements from our earlier plans, including a lake and a neighborhood park in the northwest area,” Hood said. “We’re keeping it all natural.”
The $300,000 budget for the park was approved in the 2005 park sales tax ballot.
The meeting concluded with the commission agreeing to a public hearing in February during its monthly meeting before the plan is presented to the City Council for a final approval.