Former Golf Course Becomes New Natural Area Open to Local Community

Restoring For(e) Nature

Aiming For the Green

Steve Kahl from the Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge talks about the 135-acre property once known as the Germania Towne and Country Club

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SAGINAW, MICHIGAN | May 12, 2014

Leaders from The Nature Conservancy, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and The Dow Chemical Company today celebrated the transformation of a former golf course into part of a federally protected natural area that will be open to the public for recreational uses.

The 135-acre property once known as the Germania Town and Country Club fell into foreclosure and closed its doors in 2010. The Nature Conservancy purchased the property, thanks to support from The Dow Chemical Company. The property is being transferred to the USFWS Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge, which owns property on the other side of the Saginaw River. The USFWS will undertake this urban restoration project and restore it to native habitat with public access/recreational opportunities on the property.

“This is a great day for the community and for conservation,” said Helen Taylor, state director in Michigan for The Nature Conservancy. “We’re excited to see how conservation can benefit urban communities, right here in the heart of Saginaw. Today’s action will provide an opportunity for everyone in this area to connect with nature.”

Refuge Manager Steve Kahl said that this land is a “tremendous addition,” that can offer immediate access to the community for outdoor recreation, especially for handicapped individuals since the paved paths once used for golf carts provide safe places to enjoy the scenery. He says the land will also be an enhancement for environmental education at the nearby Green Point Environmental Learning Center. The plan includes restoring the fairways and greens to native grasses and wildflowers, maintaining the land as an open meadow and prairie.

The Nature Conservancy has designated the Saginaw Bay Watershed as a priority area and is working with members of the agriculture community in the watershed to support sustainable practices and water quality, and protect floodplain habitats in watersheds that can contribute to the improved health and viability of Saginaw Bay.

“Now, with the acquisition and transfer of this property, we are pleased to see how conservation and protection efforts can benefit urban communities,” Taylor said. “This area is worth investing in for people and nature.”

The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the web at To learn about the Conservancy’s global initiatives, visit To keep up with current Conservancy news, follow @nature_press on Twitter.

Contact information

Melissa Molenda
The Nature Conservancy
(517) 230-0818


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