COLUMBIA — The Department of Parks and Recreation has asked the Columbia City Council to approve MU Health Care's $495,000 naming sponsorship of the permanent pavilion for the Columbia Farmers' Market.
"We’re excited to collaborate with MUHC in educating the community about accessing healthy food and learning how to grow food at home," said Adam Saunders, the capital campaign director for the Agriculture Park that will be anchored by the pavilion. Saunders is also co-founder of the Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture.
Under the proposed agreement, the pavilion would be named "MU Health Care Pavilion" or something similar. In ten years, MU Health Care would have the option to renew the agreement for a mutually agreed amount.
With the nearly half-million-dollar gift from MU Health Care, Friends of the Farm — a consortium of the Columbia Farmers' Market, Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture, Sustainable Farms & Communities, and the Columbia Parks and Recreation Department — has raised $1.5 million for the Agriculture Park.
The pavilion will be the permanent shelter for the Columbia Farmers Market and will also be used for other events, according to the project's website. MU Health Care would be allowed to use the structure up to five times each year for its own outreach events, sometimes during farmers market hours, according to the proposed agreement.
The naming sponsorship is the latest development in the long progression of the pavilion project, an idea first brought to the council's attention in 1999, according to previous Missourian reporting.
According to the master plan, the pavilion and surrounding area will encompass gathering areas, an outdoor classroom, community gardens and play structures.
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