Saturday, October 25, 2014

#254: Columbia Bottom Conservation Area

It's a sad feeling, and a happy one at the same time. As I write this post on October 25th, today was the celebration of the final stl250 cake placement. About 100 people showed up for the unveiling of the Columbia Bottom cake, not far from the Visitors Center. Several cake-hunters and enthusiasts, the media, Erin B., and the artist (Rich Brooks) attended the event. I didn't get to go, so it was quite a bummer (video may come on here soon! stay tuned...). After getting off work, I did arrive about 3 hours late from when it started. Still, it's the first (and last) time that I visited a cake the day it was placed. But from what I hear, it was a very cool gathering for everyone.

I thought it was even cooler that they put it in at least one of the confluence parks in the northern part of the St. Louis area. To me it would either have been between Columbia Bottom and the Edward & Pat Jones Confluence Park. (I actually visited the latter two days ago and I must say, it was very nice and peaceful) It's great to pay tribute to one of the things that made St. Louis what it is, and that's the meeting of two major rivers in the United States.

Alright, are the facts about Columbia Bottom:

  • The land was purchased in 1997 to create an urban conservation area. It is 4,256 acres.
  • The land includes a 110-acre island, and about 800 acres of bottomless forest.
  • A village/town once existed on the land, called Columbia, which later became St. Vrain. Probably due to obvious reasons (that it was on a flood plain), the town was no more by 1870.
  • One of the missions of the Missouri Department of Conservation (which manages the area) is to help restore the habitat and scenery which matched the voyage of Lewis & Clark.
  • Several activities can be done by the visitors. Hiking, fishing, horseback riding (seasonal) and bird watching are just a few to name. 
  • Many trails can be accessed in this area, and several markers contain information about either history and/or the habitats that venture on the land.

The sign off the road
Visitors center
Just a look inside the Visitors Center
A map of the place (and the cake in the background!)
And did I mention you can access the confluence point between the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers?! It is about a few miles from the Visitors Center, but the seemingly long drive to the point is worth looking into. After all, it is one of the very few places in the US where two major rivers meet. I took several pictures of the place, and I wish I can post them all. But here's 3 you may enjoy:

Across from the viewing area is the Edward & Pat Jones Confluence Point State Park

This is an amazing pic of where the Missouri River visibly flows into the Mississippi. If you look very closely you can see the Confluence Tower (on the other side of the river(s)).

The cake sides, which fittingly, feature a Fall theme:
Right side of the cake

Back side of the cake

Left side of the cake

Top of the cake (that is Nancy Raymond in the background, in case you're wondering!)

Columbia Bottom Conservation Area on FB
Wikipedia link
Official website (through the Missouri Department of Conservation website)

NOW: Auctioned off for $505 from On private property.

801 Strodtman Rd, ST. LOUIS, MO, 63138  (it is close to Spanish Lake)
Cake artist: Rich Brooks

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