News Articles


Date ArticleType
7/17/2017 Member News
Janet H. Nash Riverfront Preserve Unveiling Saginaw Basin Land Conservancy to unveil the new riverfront preserve in downtown Saginaw on Thursday, July 20th, 2017, at 6:00 in the evening.

1008 N. Johnson Street
Bay City, MI 48708
(989) 891-9986

News Release

Contact: Erin Dodson, Director of Operations

Janet H. Nash Riverfront Preserve Unveiling Saginaw Basin Land Conservancy to unveil the new riverfront preserve in downtown Saginaw on Thursday, July 20th, 2017, at 6:00 in the evening.

The Saginaw Basin Land Conservancy (SBLC) is pleased to announce that it will celebrate the near completion of the Janet H. Nash Riverfront Preserve project with an unveiling ceremony next Thursday evening. The new downtown riverfront preserve is located in downtown Saginaw at the corner of Genesee and Niagara Streets across from the Saginaw Arts and Sciences Academy at 1903 N. Niagara Street. The preserve is the first new, public, natural recreational open space to come to the Downtown Saginaw riverfront in many years.

This project was funded by the Dow Corning Foundation on behalf of Hemlock Semiconductor, the Alice E. Turner Memorial Trust, the Allen E. and Marie A. Nickless Memorial Foundation, the Wickson-Link Memorial Foundation, the William McNally Family Foundation, and the Jury Foundation, and is named for retired SASA principal Janet H. Nash. Ms. Nash will be in attendance at the unveiling ceremony.

“This urban restoration project is a first for the Saginaw Basin Land Conservancy, and we are glad to have been able to work with incredible partners like SASA, the Saginaw Public School District, Saginaw Future, and the Great Lakes Bay Regional Trail Committee to tackle such a challenging, but rewarding goal”, said Zachary Branigan, executive director of the SBLC. “This project helps execute the recommendations of the Saginaw Riverfront Commission by creating direct educational opportunities for students, recreational opportunities for the whole community, and a rare opportunity to restore a formerly developed riverside lot, all while helping connect a full loop of recreational trail around the Saginaw River and reduce unused impervious surface in the watershed”.

The approximately 3-acre project, located on the west riverbank on the south side of Genesee along Niagara in downtown Saginaw, creates a human-scale point of access to the river while providing a variety of other amenities. It also includes a new section of paved trail to expand the City of Saginaw’s riverfront trail system, a paved plaza with benches and seating for approximately 20, and thousands of beautiful native plants and flowers.

The majority of urban riverbank in Bay City and Saginaw is developed, channeled, walled, or otherwise impacted by human activities. Few opportunities exist to interact with the river. This project creates a new pocket natural area right in the heart of urban Saginaw.

“The Saginaw River is at the center, both literally and figuratively, of the City of Saginaw and the mission of the Saginaw Basin Land Conservancy”, added Branigan. “As a defining characteristic of Saginaw and Bay City, the river provides transportation and commerce for the Great Lakes Bay Region. It’s not only our greatest responsibility in the natural world, but also one of our greatest opportunities to connect with the natural world”.

The Saginaw Public School District generously granted use of its property for the project. Along with other key partners, the City of Saginaw and Saginaw Future, the original blighted parking lot was removed and replaced with a community green space and trail.

Branigan added, “Through the generous gift from the Dow Corning Foundation on behalf of Hemlock Semiconductor, as well as the additional funders named above, the Conservancy and its partners have created a new natural space that is expected to be a popular lunchtime riverside destination, a natural learning lab for children, and a contributor to the renaissance of Downtown Saginaw”.

The Janet H. Nash Riverfront Preserve is part of the Outdoor Urban Recreation (O.U.R.) Saginaw project. O.U.R. Saginaw is a network of multiple sites, new and old, throughout Saginaw, that have been reimagined to create a network of amenities catering to active outdoor pursuits to change hearts and minds about the community of Saginaw and the natural resources that it offers.

About the Saginaw Basin Land Conservancy
The Saginaw Basin Land Conservancy is a watershed-wide conservation organization, serving over 22 counties and 1.4 million residents in Michigan’s heartland. Their work focuses on habitat restoration and improvement, land acquisition for the purpose of protecting land in perpetuity, and nature-based community programming. For more information, please contact the Conservancy by calling their office at (989)-891-9986 or visit their website at

About the Saginaw Bay Watershed
The Saginaw Bay Watershed is the largest watershed in the state of Michigan filtering 15% of Michigan’s inland waters. It contributes cleaner water to the Huron Bay, the Great Lakes, and is the largest contiguous freshwater coastal wetlands system in the United States. Featuring more than 175 inland lakes and nearly 7,000 square miles of rivers and streams, this unique watershed is home to a variety of waterfowl, birds, snakes, turtles, amphibians, and more than 138 endangered or threatened species. The Saginaw Basin Land Conservancy helps maintain the quality of life in the Saginaw Bay Watershed through the preservation of important wetlands, waterways and land of all types. The Conservancy is a 501(c)3 non-profit charitable organization working in the Saginaw Basin. To date, the Conservancy has permanently preserved more than 6,000 acres in the watershed.

Anyone with questions should contact the Saginaw Basin Land Conservancy at (989) 891-9986.

Saginaw Basin Land Conservancy
Janet H. Nash Riverfront Preserve Unveiling
July 17, 2017