For Aug. 1, 2014
1 – “Taking Root in Saginaw” is the name of a new effort by the Saginaw Basin Land Conservancy.
The Bay City-based conservancy is partnering with The Children’s Zoo at Celebration Square, Ducks Unlimited, and Saginaw County Parks.
A grant for the project comes from the Saginaw Bay Watershed Initiative Network, also based in Bay City.
The idea is to connect people with nature in the city of Saginaw.
Through the project, the Conservancy and its partners will identify land use within the city limits, and determine how the Conservancy can improve access, education, and conservation in the community.
Then, Taking Root will welcome local groups to play an active role in enhancing their community through conservation.
There are hundreds of acres of vacant land in Saginaw, and the Conservancy hopes to make conservation and restoration a realistic, attainable option for some of those properties.
2 – Michigan beaches are in the Top 10 nationally when it comes to water quality.
But being No. 7 still has its challenges.
The Natural Resources Defense Council recently released a Testing the Waters report.
The report looks at the results of government-funded water quality testing at beaches throughout the Great Lakes.
Michigan ranked seventh in beach water quality out of data from 30 states.
Six percent of samples in Michigan exceeded a national Beach Action Value for E. coli bacteria in 2013.
The beaches with the highest percent exceedance rates were Singing Bridge Beach, Hammel Beach Road Access, Bessinger Road Beach, and Whites Beach, all in Arenac County.
Representatives from Huron Pines, a nonprofit in Gaylord, say they’re working with partners to see how specific projects may be able to help address the Arenac County beach problems.
3 – To enter a state park, you need to buy a recreation passport.
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has been using the money from those passports to make improvements at parks throughout the state.
The DNR says more than a dozen of Michigan’s 102 state parks have recently completed infrastructure upgrades to campgrounds and day-use areas.
The improvements were made with revenue from the passports, and a State Parks Endowment Fund.
The work has ranged from overhauling outdated electrical and sewer systems to the construction of new showers, along with campsites with access for the disabled.
The upgrades have included South Higgins Lake State Park in Roscommon.
That park has received new roadways, a boat launch and a boat wash.
Boaters are encouraged to use the boat wash to clean, drain and dry their boats before and after launching. This can help curb the spread of invasive species. The boat wash will be free and available to the public on a seasonal basis.
— Mr. Great Lakes is heard at 9 a.m. Fridays in Bay City, Michigan, on Delta College Q-90.1 FM NPR.