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Do Good Columbia Launches with Riverfront Park Project

The amphitheater at Columbia’s Riverfront Park will be getting a major facelift thanks to a new community effort led by Richland Library.

Do Good Columbia, a two-day community problem-solving workshop, wrapped up its inaugural edition Saturday.

The 104 participants divided into 13 groups to develop creative solutions to give the community more access to Columbia’s rivers. They presented their ideas to a panel of judges at the library’s main branch Saturday, and the group known as “Earth, Wind and Water” walked away as winners, with the prize of $50,000 toward the implementation phase of their plan.

The funding, provided by grants and private donations, will go toward renovations of the Riverfront Amphitheater over the next year. The group’s presentation included the following key features:

  • Green terrace.
  • Boardwalk.
  • Catering kitchen.
  • Performance stage.
  • Bike rentals.
  • Permanent easels.
  • Playground.
  • Updated bathrooms, walkways, lighting and signage.

The 104 participants in the Do Good Columbia were selected from a pool of applicants. The project leaders looked for applicants who are positive, open, and action-oriented.

Guided by project leaders, each group used human-centered design to come up with a creative idea. Since 2014, Richland Library staff have been studying human-centered design and using it to transform library spaces and programs.

Tony Tallent, director of literacy and learning for Richland Library and one of the leaders of the Do Good Columbia project, said year one was just the beginning, and the project will return in 2018 with a new theme to be determined.

“We really got a lot of community support for this,” Tallent said. “It has just generated a lot of interest. We actually had more participants wanting to be part of it than we could accommodate.”

More information on Do Good Columbia is available at the project’s website.

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