Conservation Connection: Columbia Bottom 10th Anniversary

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

(KPLR) - Columbia Bottom Conservation Area is having a 10th Anniversary this May. The area’s Howard and Joyce Wood Education and Visitor Center was dedicated in May 2004. To celebrate the occasion, they’re having a special day of activities this Sunday.

Colleen Scott talked with John Fuller about all the fun things you can do at the celebration.

Q. Tell us a little about the history of the area

  • Two towns attempted to start up in the area during the mid-1800s, Columbia and later St. Vrain . . . but no population information exists today
  • Both had become ghost towns by 1870
  • After that time the area was used to take advantage of its fertile farmland
  • During the great flood of 1993, much of the land was covered by water
  • Due to periodic flooding the area was condemned for conventional development
  • MDC purchased this 4,318-acre tract in 1997 to create an urban conservation area
  • Soon after it was opened for public use
  • The visitor center was built and dedicated on May 27, 2004
  • It was built on the same site as the famous old barn, and using some of the wood of the original structure

Q. What are some special features of Columbia Bottom?

  • The area includes a view of the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi rivers, North America’s largest rivers
  • It has more than 6.5 miles of river frontage, about 800 acres of bottomland forest and a 110-acre island
  • The area is a mosaic of bottomland habitats including shallow wetlands, bottomland hardwoods and prairie

Q. So how are you celebrating this Sunday?

  • “Ten Years, Ten Ways to Celebrate!”—a full day of special activities
  • An early morning “golden hour” hike at the Confluence
  • A tour of the various habitats of the area, with binoculars and spotting scopes supplied
  • Hayrides scheduled between Noon and 5:15
  • Photo contest
  • A self-guided geocaching activity, with GPS units available for check out
  • Bike the Bottom, a naturalist-lead bike tour to explore regrowth and regeneration of Columbia Bottom after last year’s flooding
  • A birding walk along the River’s Edge Trail
  • An evening sunset observance

Q. Is there any cost?

  • Everything is free, but some activities do require pre-registration
  • Call 314-877-6014 to register or find out more
  • Or go to and check out the Columbia Bottom page