Columbia is one of the highlights of Lexington and Richland Counties. As the state capital of South Carolina, this city is known for its network of wide, accommodating streets, historic sites, art galleries, theaters, music venues, and unique shops. It boasts the largest children’s museum in all of the south, historically preserved antebellum mansions, an airport, numerous schools ranging from kindergarten to post secondary levels, and even a zoo.
However, perhaps the most attractive attribute of Columbia is its stunning natural environment. Columbia is host to a series of beautiful waterways including three rivers, a canal, and a lake. It is home to a national park and numerous city parks that are abundant with thriving ecosystems and are ideal places for both outdoor recreation and relaxation. Numerous species of trees line its streets and shade its parks, and as a result of the city’s dedication to urban forestry, it has been recognized by the Arbor Day Foundation as a “Tree City USA” community for thirty one years.
The Columbia area is a great place for year-round cycling given our short and mild winters. The following chart shows the average high and low temperatures per month:
(Data Source: COLUMBIA UNIV OF SC Weather station, less than 2 miles from Columbia)
Columbia is one of multiple major American cities located along the geographic boundary called the “fall line.” Running nearly parallel along the Atlantic coast, the fall line divides the eastern Atlantic coastal plain from the expanse of the western Appalachian foothills, or the area known as Piedmont. This natural dividing line was fashioned as a result of a disparity in both geological structure and elevation of the two land areas. These differences in land makeup caused streams to flow from the rocks of the Piedmont area down to the coastal plain, forming a series of waterfalls-- hence the name “fall line.”
Waterfalls along the fall line generated power for industrial development, allowing grist mills and textile manufacturing to flourish. As a result, a number of towns popped up along the fall line; towns that have developed into major modern cities such as:
There are numerous organizations located in Columbia that are dedicated to preserving the local environment and promoting environmental responsibility. The following are a few such sustainably minded non-profits and community groups:
The Palmetto Cycling Club is dedicated to making South Carolina a more bicycle friendly state. Some goals they have are to improve safety for cyclists and to educate South Carolinians on the benefits of bicycling for healthy lifestyles and healthy communities. http://www.pccsc.net/
Based in Columbia, The South Carolina Wildlife Federation (SCWF) has held an active role in wildlife habitat conservation since 1931. The SCWF represents a variety of interests including bird watching, gardening, and other outdoor activities, and seeks to promote conservation through education and advocacy. http://www.scwf.org/
Devoted to the beautification of Richland and Lexington Counties, Keep the Midlands Beautiful hosts regular neighborhood cleanups and litter prevention events. Their website contains helpful educational materials including how to recycle and where to report litterers. http://www.keepthemidlandsbeautiful.com/
The River Alliance is involved in the protection of the region’s rivers, and it aims to create better public river access. Some of the organization’s successes include access to Congaree National Park, and the establishment of The Three Rivers Greenway. http://riveralliance.info/aboutus.htm