by Bill Mees, Nature Areas Committee

Months ago, the Columbia Parks and Recreation Department was making plans to celebrate the 200-year anniversary of the founding of Columbia. Included in the celebration was the recognition of trees in Columbia that were present to “see” the establishment of Columbia, Missouri. Columbia Audubon Society was contacted to confirm interest in participating in the celebration and, in the process, of identifying a tree in Columbia Audubon Nature Sanctuary, known for the property’s old growth white oaks.

Large rock hosting commemorative plaque being placed by Columbia Parks and Recreation next to old growth white oak at CANS

Thus, it was that the large white oak on the far west side of CANS was identified to become a participant in the celebration. But then came COVID and supply chain problems, all conspiring to delay the installation of a plaque identifying the tree as a 220+ year old specimen. On Wednesday, November 23, 2022, the plaque was delivered and placed adjacent to the hiking trail, benches and an Eastern Bluebird nest box.

Please take a seat under the shelter of this beautiful, open-grown old growth white oak. Enjoy the quiet and the view of the recently planted prairie and contemplate the changes our landscapes have seen over the past 200 years.