The grand opening of the Columbia agriculture park at Clary-Shy Community Park has been delayed to April 27 because of the winter weather.

The agriculture park, originally set to open March 9, is a collaboration between Columbia Parks and Recreation, Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture, Columbia Farmers Market and Sustainable Farms and Communities. The park's website says the goal of the project is to educate community members on healthy, local food, connect them to agriculture and the outdoors and improve opportunities for farmers. 

Adam Saunders, Build This Town campaign director, said rain and snow delayed construction.

"We’re really grateful for the contractors working hard in the cold weather," Saunders said. "They're at the mercy of the weather."

Saunders said contractors have put together steel frames for the structure and are in the process of pouring concrete for the pavilion, pedestrian plaza and drive lanes but that they rely on warm weather for the project's completion.

The opening of the first construction phase of the park, the middle third of the pavilion, will feature an 11,000-square-foot space with an outdoor classroom area, a one-room schoolhouse along the main plaza, a playground, a backyard garden demonstration area, a barn for storage, a greenhouse space and a veggie wash station for the food pantry.

The project was paid for with both private and public funds through the Build This Town campaign. More than 500 donors collectively raised more than $3.92 million. The names of donors who contribute before March 22 will be listed on a "donor wall" in the park. 

The Columbia Farmers Market was still scheduled to start its spring season March 9, when it is expected to be open 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays. The market will be in the Parkade Center until the agriculture park opens.

  • Fall 2019 public safety and health reporter. I am a senior studying news reporting and sociology. Reach me at, or 573-340-5591.

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