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Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture celebrates groundbreaking of Agriculture Park

Despite the wind, rain and cold, dozens of people attended Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture's groundbreaking ceremony for the city's new Agriculture Park. (KRCG 13/Megan Sanchez)

Despite the wind, rain and cold, dozens of people attended Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture's groundbreaking ceremony for the city's new Agriculture Park.

"I think it's especially appropriate that we're gathering here the weekend before Thanksgiving," Mayor Brian Treece said about the celebratory event.

The groundbreaking was hosted by a coalition of community partnerships to form the Friends of the Farm. Along with the CCUA, the Columbia Farmers Market, Sustainable Farms and Communities and Columbia Parks and Recreation envision a park that will host a year-round farmers market, urban farm and hands-on educational activities.

"One of the hallmark's of a first-class city is to have an open-air farmers market," Treece said.

After the concept had developed for two years, the public-private partnership broke ground at Clary-Shy Park where the Columbia farmers market is currently held. Friends of the Farm hopes to bring a new edge to the farm-to-table concept.

The Agriculture Park focuses on making healthy, local foods easier to access for residents. It is expected to be completed in 2019.

"It may have started as a couple farmers selling out the back of their truck on a gravel parking lot," the mayor said. "Now we have one of those large city amenities right here in Columbia, Missouri."


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