Community InvolvementOxbow Meadows
Working in conjunction with Columbus State University, Columbus Water Works created the Oxbow Meadows Environmental Learning Center
with the goal of educating and reaching out to the community - both young and young at heart – to foster a life-long interest in the environment and environmental issues. When visiting the scenic site of the Learning Center, it’s difficult to imagine that it was a mining site in the 1940s and ‘50s, and a landfill in the 1970s.
Through an extraordinary step in leadership and vision, CWW and the City of Columbus
decided to purchase the 1,600-acre property in 1992 after a joint study showed the area would be a good site for an inert landfill (a disposal site for lawn waste such as leaves, grass, and sticks) and for the application of biosolids from CWW’s wastewater treatment process. Old mining pits in the center of the property are used for the inert landfills. Long-term plans include converting those areas into hardwood wetlands once they near capacity of inert disposal. CWW uses approximately 300 acres near the river on the western side of the property for growing millet and wheat as part of its biosolids program.
Recognizing the potential for a use that would benefit the community in broader terms, the jewel of the property was constructed on the eastern side - the Environmental Learning Center. It is here that the true vision of Oxbow Meadows comes to life. The nature discovery center lets visitors see native flora and fauna first hand, and learn about the natural and cultural history of the region. United Way
CWW is very dedicated to serving our community. One way that the CWW serves the community is through United Way of the Chattahoochee Valley, Inc
. Each year, CWW team members engage in various company-sponsored fund raising activities (car washes, bake sales and raffle drawings, etc.) to reach their campaign goal. CWW has been exceeding its United Way campaign goals since 1999. Also, each year, CWW employees participate in the Annual United Way Day of Caring in which they go to one of the agencies and volunteer at least four hours assisting the agency staff members with different tasks that need to be done.Help The Hooch
"Help the Hooch
" is Columbus' local group of volunteers who donate their time and effort to clean up the Chattahoochee River. The annual event is held in partnership with Rivers Alive, a statewide river cleanup program. CWW is not only one of the event's major sponsors, but many employees participate as well. Of all the river cleanups held across Georgia, Columbus' is one of the largest, averaging about 12,000 volunteers - about half of the entire number statewide!
This annual event occurs in October, usually the second Saturday of the month. Volunteers on both sides of the river participate by picking up litter from the creeks, streams, lakes, rivers and public areas to prevent this trash from washing down stream. For more information and to volunteer, visit their website above.
Columbus Water Works is one of the founding members of the Middle Chattahoochee Water Coalition (MCWC). The coalition is made up of individuals, environmental organizations, businesses, and utilities that have an interest in the Chattahoochee River. Participants come from a wide geographical area, from just below the Florida state line to LaGrange, Georgia. The Coalition's purpose is to ensure that the Chattahoochee is protected and available to meet the needs of all the groups that rely on it - whether it is for recreation, water supply, or power generation.