Bay City park to get major makeover

BAY CITY (WJRT) - (12/04/18) - A Bay City park is about to get a big makeover, but the group working to transform it needs the community's help.

The Leadership Bay County Class of 2019 adopted Realtor Park. It sits along E. Jenny Street, and is bordered by S. Linn Street and S. Henry Street.

The park is one of the last landmarks people see before they cross from the west side of the Saginaw River to the east side via Veteran Memorial Bridge.

"This is a neglected park, it's definitely needed some attention and we want to create a beautiful corridor into and out of the city," said Tammy Claramunt, one of the 21 community members who are part of this year's Leadership Bay County group.

"This is Realtor Park, and it's a small park owned by the city of Bay City. And it actually, this park has one of the highest volume traffic areas in the area," said Terry Spencer, who also is part of the Leadership Bay County group.

Spencer said the park piqued their curiosity as they searched for a way to help further the city's momentum. "It's gonna be new trees, there's going to be lighting, a path, walkway, and of course it leads to the center of the park which will have the structured art piece," he said.

The art piece would be hard to miss. Jason Graham, the Saginaw artist creating it, plans to make it 16 feet tall by six feet wide.

It'll be named, "Before the Bay".

"It's going to be made of steel, and it represents the Saginaw River as it flows through the city of Bay City," Claramunt said.

Altogether the project, including the art work, will cost $70,000.

The group has until Jan. 15 to earn a matching grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation for $30,000.

To earn the grant a full $30,000 first has to be raised by the community. "So if we do not raise our full goal, we do not receive a penny," Claramunt said.

Donations can be made online or at the group's upcoming Hot Cocoa Social. It's Saturday, Dec. 8 from 1-3 p.m. at the park. Donations can also be made online, just click on the 'Related Link' with this story.

The Leadership Bay County Class of 2019 hopes it's the first of many get-togethers at this park.

"This project is not only going to enhance the community pride, but it's also something that's going to be very welcoming to people who travel to Bay City," Spencer said.

The leadership class is put together by the Bay Area Chamber of Commerce. This year's group also is working and in collaboration with the Bay City Beautification Committee.

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