Local park turns into nature escape - WNEM TV 5

Local park turns into nature escape

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BAY CITY, MI (WNEM) -

A local group, along with some volunteers, are working hard to bring nature's delight to residents' backdoors.

"The idea is that it's a sanctuary right here in town," said Garrett Pohl, with Dow Chemical and the Saginaw Basin Land Conservancy.

Living in a city often means a bit of a hike to explore nature, but the Saginaw Basin Land Conservancy is trying to change that. 

With more than 100 Dow volunteers, Monday began the renovation of Discovery Preserve. It's a park formerly known as Euclid Linear Park on the west side of Bay City. 

"We're trying to get more people outside to see what our own backyards have to offer really," Pohl said.

By renovating the 12- to 14-acre linear park, it will become an escape in the middle of Bay County for bike rides, nature walks, bird watching and more. 

"People say, 'Yeah I love nature! I go up north all the time!' But that's not really necessary, you've got plenty of nature right here in Bay City," Pohl said.

The volunteers will be planting native plants and removing invasive species, along with fixing the boardwalk, putting up educational signs and making wildlife boxes.

One of the main objectives for renovating the trail is to make it a good environment for birds and a prime location for bird watching. 

"Birding is a huge business. This is not only a nature story, but an economic development story," Pohl said.

The park is in a good location to serve as a central spot for the Saginaw Bay birding trail. The conservancy also hopes the renovations will attract elementary school field trips where students will learn about nature.

"We've been out here this morning, we've had bikers go by, dog walkers go by, people who already are utilizing this space and only stand to benefit from it when we rehabilitate it back to what it must have been," Pohl said.

Once the renovation is complete, the park will open to the public.

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