SAGINAW COUNTY (WJRT) -
(05/12/14) - The Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge is a little bigger, after adding 135 acres to its property with the purchase of a vacant golf course.
The Germania Country Club in Saginaw fell into foreclosure and closed its door in 2010. It's located near the Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge. The Nature Conservancy bought the property for $355,000, with help from Dow Chemical Company.
"We're really lucky it worked out this way," said Helen Taylor, of the Nature Conservancy.
The official transfer of ownership to the refuge was marked by a tree planting. The plan calls for restoring the fairways and greens to native grasses and wildflowers.
"More and more we're talking about how to connect people and nature together, not just the preservation of wilderness and wild places, but the importance of the connection to people," Taylor said.
The paved cart paths will remain to make it easier for visitors to moved around the property.
"It will also be a wonderful opportunity for handicapped and people who actually have trouble walking long distances, so it's a win-win," Taylor said.
Visitors should be able to see waterfowl, songbirds, deer and other wildlife.
Refuge manager Steve Kahl says the former golf course will be an enhancement for the nearby Green Point Environmental Learning Center.