Donations & Memorials

The City of Columbia welcomes donations and memorials from public and private sources that will help to improve the city's parks & recreation facilities and programs. The following guidelines have been adopted for donations and memorials:

1) Donations may be accepted from public and private sources for the purpose of enhancing any parks and park pathways, with the exception of those areas where human activity is discouraged to protect habitat and sensitive lands, and such donations will become property of the City of Columbia;

2) Donations shall be incorporated into the site and facilities of the parks and recreation program according to the following criteria:
  1. Donations must meet a need identified in an approved design or master plan for the park where it is proposed to be located;
  2. Where there is no adopted design or master plan, the donation must be compatible with existing facilities and meet a specific need;
  3. Any exceptions must be recommended for approval by a two-thirds majority of the Play Commission
3) All costs associated with a donation, including ongoing maintenance costs, shall be the responsibility of the donor, and the City reserves the right to assess an appropriate administrative fee for processing requests;

4) While the City will make every effort to repair damaged items, the City will not be responsible for replacement due to excessive damage or loss, although a donor may have such damaged or lost items replaced by the City at the donor’s cost;

5) Individual memorial plaques may be placed directly upon donated items, with size and design determined by the City;

6) All official names must be recommended by the Play Commission and approved by the City Council;

7) Under normal circumstances, parks & recreation facilities will not be named for living persons, but exceptions to this policy may be made upon recommendation of the Play Commission when the person to be so honored:
  1. Has made a substantial contribution (in funding or service) to the specific park or facility; or
  2. Has made a substantial contribution to the community over an extended period of time; or
  3. Has achieved national recognition
8) Facilities within a park should carry the same name as that park, but facilities may be dedicated in memory of a person or event with a plaque indicating the dedication placed at the facility;

9) Names should be changed only when there has never been an official naming or when the name was a temporary or interim designation;

10) The Community & Economic Development Department (CEDD) shall be responsible for administering the Parks & Recreation Donation & Memorial Program, including approving and installing donated items; CEDD will coordinate with other departments, as needed, or designate other departments to oversee aspects of the program.

11) The City of Columbia has executed an agreement with the PLAY Foundation, an independent charitable organization, to serve as the conduit for all private donations to the parks & recreation system.