COLUMBIA — The Bonnie View Nature Sanctuary and Scott's Branch Trail, in the making for three years, will be dedicated on Tuesday.
Even before the finishing touches were in place, the nature area and trail were attracting users.
Mike Snyder, superintendent of planning and development for Columbia Parks and Recreation, said neighbors have been using the new trail extensively. Students at Fairview Elementary have also been using the trail as a safer route to school instead of walking on sidewalks near busy roads and driveways.
A dedication of the Bonnie View Nature Sanctuary and Scott's Branch Trail will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday at the shelter in Bonnie View at 3300 W. Rollins Road.
The event will include free hot dogs, chips and beverages, children's activities, and a trail walk with the Audubon Society.
The city-owned nature sanctuary, situated between Fairview Park and the Audubon Nature Sanctuary, is 89.5 acres.
Visitors can walk on Scott's Branch Trail or a nature trail though the mostly wooded property. The sanctuary also has open field area, prairie restoration area and a shelter.
Scott's Branch Trail starts at the sanctuary's entrance on Rollins Road and ends at Scott Boulevard.
The trail connects to Martin Luther King Trail, Fairview and Dublin parks, and Fairview Elementary School. The trail has been in service for several months as park developers installed signs and finished small connecting pathways.
The land that makes up Bonnie View Nature Sanctuary was donated to the city by F. Garland Russell Sr. in 1999 after Russell's death.
The trail and sanctuary development were funded through a 2005 ballot requesting an increase in park sales tax.
The Parks and Recreation Department has no funded plans for the area, Snyder said, but plans to apply for grants for other restoration projects.
"For people that live around, it will be a wonderful asset to them forever," Snyder said.