Columbia Parks and Recreation
Creating Community through People, Parks and Programs
This 20-acre piece of land and the adjacent 20-acre West Boulevard School grounds were formerly the Boone County Fairgrounds. Annual fairs were held at this site from 1948 through 1991. The Boone County Fair Board then traded the fairgrounds at Clinkscales and Ash Street for 226 acres known as the Cotton Woods Airport. In 1994 Ron and Vicki Shy donated 20 acres to the City of Columbia for recreation use.
Efforts to develop a recreation center in Columbia began in 1998 with Mayor Darwin Hindman's appointment of a 37 member Mayor's Recreation Center Citizen's Committee. Citizens passed a 1/4-cent sales tax to raise $10.5 million for the recreation center in a November 1999 ballot. Construction on the ARC begain in spring of 2001. The facility was dedicated on December 15, 2002 and was opened for public use on December 16, 2001. (Click here for more information on the ARC's history.)
In 2000, the City of Columbia sent out requests for proposals for the construction, operation, and maintenance of an ice skating facility on this site. No acceptable proposals were received. In 2001, Sustainable Farms & Communities, Inc. had plans drawn up for a Farmers Market Community Center for proposed construction on the Ash and Clinksales site.
In November 2005, a ballot proposal was put before the voters to extend the Park Sales Tax for two years to fund a multi-use recreation facility that would house an indoor ice rink, covered farmers market, and indoor sports complex. The ballot issue was defeated. (Click here for more information on the 2005 Park Sales Tax Ballot.)
In 2006, the Columbia Youth Basketball Association (CYBA) approached the City with a proposal to raise the necessary funds to construct a 61,000 sq. ft. youth sports facility to be located on the Ash and Clinkscales property. Upon completion of the building, it would be turned over to the Parks and Recreation Department for operation and programming. The proposed building would include eight indoor basketball courts. The proposal went before the City Council for consideration.
After reviewing the proposal, the City Council directed the Department to contact other organizations which had expressed interest in the potential development of the Ash and Clinkscales site and allow 30 days for those entities to provide updated information as to the status of their project and/or proposals. The department was also directed to advertise to the public soliciting statements of interest for use of the property. Agencies were contacted by the department and a request for statements of interest was advertised. Four groups submitted proposals: Boone Ice Group (BIG), Columbia Farmers Market (DFM), Columbia Youth Basketball Association (CYBA), and Positive Regional Impact Development Enterprise (PRIDE).
After the proposals were reviewed and a public hearing at the Park and Recreation Commission meeting was held, the Parks and Recreation Department and Commission recommended the CYBA/Rising Stars and the Farmers Market facilities for the site. The City Council held public hearings on the subject and ultimately approved a Memorandum of Understanding for both of the recommended organizations.
The original Memorandum of Understanding with Sustainable Farms and Communities granted two years to raise $900,000 for the construction of a permanent facility to house the Farmers Market. The funds would be given to the City to administer the construction of the facility. The City would be owner and operator of the facility with an agreement in place outlining Sustainable Farms' cooperative use of the facility. At the March 17, 2008 Council meeting, the Market requested that the City provide an option to extend the lease to a total of seven years in order to qualify for Neighborhood Assistance Program (NAP) tax credits from the Missouri Department of Economic Development. The tax credits are essential for organizations attempting to raise funds. In order to qualify for the tax credits, the Farmers Market had to be the owner for five years after the tax credits expire. If the tax credits are not used, the original agreement remains in effect. At the April 21, 2008 meeting the Council approved an ordinance granting the extension of the lease.
Similarly, a Memorandum of Understanding gave the Columbia Youth Basketball Association (CYBA) two years to raise $4 million to fund the construction of an indoor multi-court, multi-use recreation facility. The funds would be given to the City to administer the construction of the facility. The City would be owner and operator of the facility with an agreement in place outlining CYBA's cooperative use of the facility. CYBA commissioned a feasibility study that unfortunately indicated they would not be able to raise the required funds considering the current economic climate. Consequently, in a letter dated September 8, 2008 to City of Columbia Officials, CYBA officially terminated the Memorandum of Understanding. (See also Timeline - 2006-2008)
On May 7, 2010 the City Council approved Clary-Shy Community Park as the official park name. (See related Council item.)
On November 3, 2015 Columbia voters approved the extension of the 1/8-cent Park Sales Tax primarily used for capital improvement projects. After the tax extension was approved, the City Council adopted an implementation plan that includes $400,000 for improvements at Clary-Shy Park. Preliminary project plans propose using the funds toward the development of a permanent Farmers Market Structure, educational urban farm, demonstration gardens, an outdoor classroom, playground, walking trails, and a building for Farmers Market and community events. The $400,000 in Park Sales Tax funding would need to be supplemented with private donations and grants in order to bring the plan to fruition. Park staff began holding interested party meetings in 2016 to gather public input on the proposed project. Click here for more information about the project and its status.
As capital improvement projects are scheduled for Clary-Shy Park, they will appear in the list below. (For a list of ARC capital improvement projects, click here.)
|Year Completed||Project Description|
|Activity and Recreation Center Development|
|Parking Lot Expansion|
|ARC/West Jr. High Fence|
|Solar Parking Lot Lighting|
|FY 2010 Annual Roads and Parking - Parking Lot Repair and Conversion to Concrete, Phase I|
|FY 2011 Annual Roads and Parking - Parking Lot Repair and Conversion to Concrete, Phases 2 & 3|
|FY 2014 Annual Roads and Parking: Remove section and replace w/concrete|
|Clary-Shy Park Improvements|
The following outlines the timeline for the Ash and Clinkscales property use issue from 2006-2008:
See Council Agenda Items for more information.
Suiters are lining up for city's ARC land
May 17, 2006 - Columbia Daily Tribune
Basketball group plans open house
June 19, 2006 - Columbia Daily Tribune
Rinks, growers add bids for ARC land
June 28, 2006 - Columbia Daily Tribune
Advocates pitch ARC land plans
August 18, 2006 - Columbia Daily Tribune
Parks Board favors youth group for ARC site
September 26, 2006 - Columbia Daily Tribune
Council gives OK to youth basketball
January 17, 2006 - Columbia Daily Tribune
City okays youth sports complex
January 17, 2007 - Columbia Missourian
Ice rink backers set sights on 2008
January 23, 2007 - Columbia Missourian
See also related Council Items.