The Columbia, Missouri chapter of the Audubon Society — serving Audrain, Boone, Cooper, Howard, Monroe & Randolph Counties

Hillman Presentation to Columbia Planning and Zoning Board

My name is Laura Hillman. I am here on behalf of the membership of Columbia Audubon Society.

Columbia Audubon Society promotes the preservation of the natural world, its ecosystems, biological diversity and habitat. These interests compel Columbia Audubon Society to speak-up in regards to the proposed Parkside Estates development.

The location of the proposed development, and the geology and topography of the property all cause serious concerns that must be addressed if Rock Bridge Memorial State Park is to be protected.

1) Surface water flows directly from the proposed Parkside Estates development into the park. Changing the property from natural cover to impervious surface will create stormwater runoff issues for the park’s portion of the Little Bonne Femme Creek and the tributary leading to it. Bank erosion and water quality problems are to be expected.

2) The park streams that carry the runoff from Parkside Estate are listed by the state as "Losing Streams." Thus surface runoff into and through these streams also enters the groundwater system. Any water quality concerns associated with this development will affect both surface water and groundwater.

3) Wetlands and at least one spring exist in the Bonne Femme floodplain and are also downstream from the development. These ecosystems contribute to and support the park’s biodiversity.

4) Depending on the location of this development’s housing and its density, the lights and noise could easily be within 1/10th mile (528 feet) and in direct line of sight of the park’s main facilities as well as a popular park trail.

5) Urban landscaping invariably brings invasive exotic species problems to natural parklands. These are expensive to contain and damaging to native flora and wildlife.

6) Housing immediately adjacent to the park will create an impediment to the park’s ability to manage deer over population. Over population is devastating to habitat and ecosystems necessary for wildlife diversity.

7) Housing immediately adjacent to the park also impairs the park’s ability to conduct prescribed fires which are essential to maintain quality woodlands and wildlife habitat.

It is left to you to establish the level of development that will be permitted. The membership of Columbia Audubon Society asks you to approve a development strategy that protects our precious resources like Rock Bridge Memorial State Park.

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