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The Columbia Aquatic Restoration Project is a volunteer group run by the city of Columbia. Volunteers donate 18 hours annually to aquatic restoration projects run by the city horticulturalist, in exchange for three free classes about aquatic ecology.
Address: 3601 S. Providence Road, Columbia, MO 65203
Phone number: 874-7499
Contact: Leigh Britt
Hours of operation: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday
Email address: volunteer@GoColumbiaMO.com
The group's first year of classes and projects was in 2007, after Park Natural Resource Supervisor Brett O'Brien conceived the concept.
The group completes five or six projects per year, according to a timeline published by Columbia's city government. The group has managed invasive plants and restored shorelines at Flat Branch Park, Stephens Lake Park, Twin Lakes Recreation Area and Hinkson Creek.
In 2009, the American Parks and Recreation Society awarded the group a $1,000 grant. The society said the program was distinctive because its main focus was shoreline management and public education. The award letter said volunteers can easily take concepts learned from Columbia Aquatic Restoration Project classes and apply them to their own homes.
Links and sources:
The group's information page on the Columbia city government website.
A document, published by CARP, of the chronological history of the group.
Informational brochure about the group.
An August 2008 article about CARP and its cleanup of Stephens Lake Park, and the associated benefits.
A September 2010 article about a nature trail the group is assisted in creating.
A February 2007 feature article on CARP and Columbia city government's program of trading free classes for volunteer work.
A May 2007 article about CARP's efforts to restore the ecosystem of Flat Branch-Hinkson Creek.
An April 2009 feature about CARP.