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This is an artist's rendering of Columbia's Orr street park property at Orr and Park Avenue (June 22, 2023 photo from 939 the Eagle's Brian Hauswirth)

(AUDIO): Commissioner Kendrick describes new Columbia park as a community-driven effort

Boone County’s presiding commissioner is excited about the construction of the new Orr street park near the Columbia fire department.

Commissioner Kip Kendrick describes it as a community-driven effort, telling 939 the Eagle that it shows what can be accomplished when everyone works together. Mr. Kendrick remembers working on that site when he served in the Missouri House from 2015-2021.

“I met with a community group when I was a state rep. (Missouri state representative) on this site and getting them a report from DNR (the state Department of Natural Resources) to help kind of move the process along. But just the community-involvement, right. And it was a really a grassroots-driven effort to get this, to see it all the way through,” Kendrick says.

The park is being built near Orr and Park avenue, a former Brownfield site that used to have a manufactured gas plant. Columbia has been awarded a $1.25 million dollar grant from the state Department of Economic Development (DED) to develop the property. That will pay for most of the $1.5 million project. Columbia Parks and Recreation says park features may include open greenspace, a walking trail, outdoor art areas and a playground.

Presiding Commissioner Kendrick and fellow Boone County commissioners Justin Aldred and Janet Thompson attended the recent groundbreaking ceremony.

“This will be such a great addition to the Parks and Recreation department for the city of Columbia. And just super-excited to see this happening,” Mr. Kendrick says.

He says it also highlights the importance of the city and county working together.

Columbia’s city manager is also pleased with the new Orr street park being built near Café Berlin. City manager De’Carlon Seewood says Columbia finds a way to get things done.

“And so this is just another example of how the will of Columbia can do amazing things,” Mr. Seewood says.

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