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Bonnie View Nature Sanctuary opens to city

Stephanie Kawula

Bonnie View Nature Sanctuary officially opened to the public Tuesday—just in time to celebrate Earth Day.

Located in the middle of the city, just five miles west of downtown, this park is designed to create a new experience for residents. Its paved paths accommodate large numbers of visitors while the prairies provide the open sanctuary feel.

Mike Griggs, Director of Parks and Recreation, said that having the nature sanctuary dedication on Earth Day was a perfect fit.

“It’s nice to have land preserved and set aside for nature and wildlife and all of that but if people don’t appreciate it—if we don’t get people outside to see it—then that appreciation goes away,” Griggs said.

Many Columbia residents from adjacent neighborhoods gathered to see nearly 90 acres of land added to Scott’s Branch trail. Heather Lewis was one of those residents.

“It’s widely used,” Lewis said. “People are always on the trail. I think it’s neat that it connects neighborhoods as well.”

According to Griggs, city residents wanted another recreation space to add to the park system. As a result, the city was able to provide this more relaxed recreational experience from funding through the park sales tax.