Prairie at CANS - Allison Vaughn

Prairie at CANS – Allison Vaughn

Many people are responsible for the existence of the wonderful Columbia Audubon Nature Sanctuary, from the donation of the land by the Russell family to the dream and the plan for its development. There are too many people responsible for those early accomplishments to name them all, but they include the 13 Boy Scouts who have completed Eagle Scout projects such as bridges, kiosks and trail-side benches.

More recently we want to recognize and thank several who have done so much: Crockett Engineering and Emory Sapp and Sons who designed and built the parking lot, CAS volunteers who built the entrance signs, and volunteer Dean Ravenscraft who keeps the trails manicured. Many more volunteers helped clear the old fescue pasture and plant the native prairie grasses and wild flowers.

This past spring 200 tree seedlings were ordered from MDC’s George O. White State Forest Nursery – 50 each of Aromatic Sumac, Smooth Sumac, Hazelnut, and Gray Dogwood – all planted in various locations, primarily along the woods to help prevent erosion and rebuild habitat. They will eventually provide areas of dense growth or thickets and produce a food source of fruit for birds in addition to the cover required by some species for nesting and shelter. Also, Marj Meredith provided five Red Buckeye seedlings which she propagated from buckeyes gathered from the tree in Shelter Garden. Volunteers Allison Vaughn, Eric Seaman, Laura Hillman, and Bill Mees assisted in planting the seedlings which will eventually be trees everyone can enjoy. Perhaps you too have seedlings from native Missouri species that can augment habitat at Columbia Audubon Nature Sanctuary; if so, let CAS know by phoning 573-445-7781 or visiting

We are fortunate to have this area and have made it available to the Columbia Public Schools for taking the second grade classes there for educational sessions; some of the students have remarked that they had never been in a woods before. It is an area that will be enjoyed forever by many people. If you have not been to CANS, you may want to go. It is on the west side of Columbia, W. Broadway to south on Fairview Road, to Bray, to Cunningham. The parking lot address is 3607 Bray Avenue. – by Marjorie Meredith