Buchart Horn Architects
  Columbia River Park | Visitors Center   The Borough of Columbia developed a phased improvement plan to their Columbia Riverfront Park, the historic four acre park located along the Susquehanna River at 41 Walnut Street within the Columbia Borough Historic District. Phase I was completed in May 2010 and provides safe access to the river for boaters, anglers, canoes, kayaks, motorized and non-motorized recreational craft, as well as picnickers, hikers, birders, and even photographers and painters who want an unobstructed view of the graceful arches of the Columbia/Wrightsville bridge reflected in the majestic Susquehanna River.  Phase I improvements included improvements and expansion of the boating facilities, pedestrian walkways, a canoe/kayak launching area, picnic areas, pedestrian access to the Susquehanna River, Best Management Practices for stormwater quality control, and natural restoration of the park’s Susquehanna riverbank. The Best Management Practices included both engineered and natural components. As the Susquehanna River floods the park on a regular basis, we didn’t want to use porous paving in areas where the flood water would deposit silt and possibly encourage vegetation to grow within the voids, damaging the surfaces. However, we determined the 50 year flood elevation, which seemed like a good compromise, and as the parking lot was located at the upper end of the park, it and the concrete sidewalks were installed with pervious materials.  Columbia River Park supports the principles of smart growth, by preserving open space, revitalizing an important community resource, providing increased opportunities for pedestrian and non-motorized transportation, and protecting environmentally sensitive areas. This project has enhanced the quality of life for Columbia residents and for all those who visit this historic, cultural, and natural resource, which had been underutilized and, when fully developed, will realize its potential for the community.  This project will have a direct effect on downtown business vitality, encouraging others to live and work in the core community of Columbia Borough. Development of the park has enhanced the quality of life in the area and supports the positive development that is underway around the site.  The Columbia Riverfront Park will serve as a trailhead for the Northwest River Trail project, and as a hub for the Susquehanna River Water Trail, designated as a National Recreation Trail in 2008. The River Park is also designated as a trailhead for the Susquehanna River Birding and Wildlife Trail within the Susquehanna Greenway.  More than 20 state and local agencies and programs were involved in the project with the mission of promoting, preserving and enhancing the culture, heritage and related commerce and recreational activities including the Community Conservation Partnerships Program, the local school district, county and regional agencies, and State Representative offices. Borough of Columbia is blessed with many individuals willing to give of themselves for the good of the community.

Columbia River Park | Visitors Center