When residents of Columbia learned that the 111 acres surrounding Stephens Lake was up for sale, they quickly organized to secure access to this open space in the heart of the city. Working against a tight timeline, The Trust for Public Land helped negotiate an agreement between landowner Stephens College and the city and assisted in structuring a funding strategy approved by voters in November, 2000. The park opened to the public in 2001.
Today, the lake and the surrounding tree-shaded slopes are open for ice skating in the winter and swimming, kayaking, fishing, and picnicking in the summer
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Since 1972, The Trust for Public Land has protected more than 3 million acres and completed more than 5,200 park and conservation projects.