Oxbow Meadows Opens Forest Canopy Walkway, Celebrates 10 Years

Columbus State Universitys Oxbow Meadows Environmental Learning Center has celebrated its 10th anniversary with a grand opening of its Forest Canopy Walkway and an unveiling of a new raptor cage display.

Both features were showcased in a public celebration from 1-4 p.m. Nov. 12. p> With the canopy walkway, CSU ushers in a new era for environmental science investigation with a canopy trail that is among the most unique in the United States. Supported with funding from MeadWestvaco, the walkway (192 feet long, 35 feet high) provides a birds-eye look at wetlands and an up-close view of animal and plant life in the forest canopy.

While about 100 similar structures exist worldwide, Oxbows canopy walkway is the first of its kind built in the United States and one of just three such structures accessible to the public. The walkway features a system of suspension-type trail segments that are attached to two stable tree platforms and a tower. The platforms are attached to the trees with a patented tree-friendly design; no metal penetrates the tree bark and the the platform attachments allow for tree movement and growth.

Meanwhile, the raptor cages (each 8-feet high, 10-feet deep and 16-feet wide) are separately housing a black vulture, a red-tailed hawk, a great horned owl and a barred owl. The cages, along the tree line behind Oxbows main building, have been donated jointly by the Keep Georgia Beautiful Foundation, Jordan Jones & Goulding and Columbus Water Works.

For more information, call 687-4090 or visit www.oxbowcanopytrail.com.