COLUMBIA, Mo. (press release) —  Missouri Foundation for Health is awarding a $700,000 grant to support the planning, construction and programming of an Agriculture Park in Columbia.

The Agriculture Park is a public-private project of Columbia Parks and Recreation Department, and three non-profits: Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture, Columbia Farmers Market, and Sustainable Farms and Communities. The foundation’s grant will begin in July 2017 and continues through the summer of 2021.

Funding will support a Community Food Assessment, capital construction costs, and staff and supply costs for educational programming. The Community Food Assessment will bring together stakeholders from many evaluate local needs and assets so that the park can best serve the community. A series of meetings and focus groups over the fall and winter will help inform the park’s programming.

“The support from Missouri Foundation for Health is a huge vote of confidence for this project” says Billy Polansky, Executive Director of CCUA, “It will enable this new park to be built sooner, bring in more community stakeholders, and ensure that there will be robust programming in the park’s early years.”

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