The purpose of this commission is to plan, establish, equip, staff, operate, regulate, and protect public recreation and zoo facilities within the territory in the counties of Richland and Lexington contiguous to the Saluda River and the Congaree River from Highway I-26 on the north to the Granby Locks on the south; to sue and be sued in its own name; to make bylaws for the management and regulations of its affairs; to acquire real and personal property by gift, deed, easement, lease or otherwise; to mortgage, pledge, license, or lease its real personal property; to receive funds by loan, grant, donation, and appropriations and to make application therefore; and to establish and collect reasonable charges for the use, lease, or license of its facilities. The commission is responsible for the overall operation and maintenance of Riverbanks Zoo.
Created by S.C. Code 51-13-20.


Click here to read the by-laws.


The Commission consists of seven (7) members. Two (2) appointments are made each by the Richland and Lexington County Councils and two (2)  by the Columbia City Council. The last appointment (at-large) is made jointly by all 3 entities.
 Term of office is six (6) years with one (1) reappointment.
 All appointees must reside within the corporate limits of the City of Columbia.


Meetings are held on a quarterly basis or as needed.

City Appointed Committee Members:

Term Ends
Mike Velasco1
September 2022
Alana Williams2
December 2026
Bud Tibshrany2May 2020

Contact Info:

Mr. Tommy Stringfellow
Riverbanks Zoo and Garden
500 Wildlife Parkway
Columbia, SC 29210
(803) 779-8717
Click here to view their website