By Tom Weber, KWMU
St. Louis – A new conservation area at the spot where the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers meet is now open.
The state spent almost $3 million to make more than 4,000 acres just north of St. Louis into the Columbia Bottom Conservation Area. People can now hike, bike, fish and hunt there.
Conservation Department Director John Hoskins estimates a third of Missouri's population lives within 30 miles of the area.
"It's important they have the opportunity to explore and use the outdoors and benefit from what the Deptartment of Conservation provides in the way of public service," Hoskins said. "And it's just more practical to be able to do that within close proximity of your home."
The area will also feature the first viewing platform on the Missouri side that looks right at the confluence of the two rivers. There are also plans to build a visitor's center.