Local SBA Birding-related Covid-19 Updated -- 5/26/20
County Lands :
Huron County Parks -- closed until 6/22
Tuscola County Parks -- No information
Bay County Parks -- No information
Saginaw Basin Land Conservancy Properties -- No information
Hampton Township Parks -- No information
Arenac County Parks -- No information - check on flooding conditions
Iosco County Parks -- No information - check on flooding conditions
Midland County Parks -- closed due to flood damage
City of Midland Parks -- Open - check on flooding conditions
Saginaw County Parks -- No information - check on flooding conditions
State Lands (Michigan DNR) :
State parks and recreation areas currently remain open to provide residents with local opportunities to get outdoors. However, extensive travel should be minimal – and reserved only for essential needs – and effective social distancing is required so that unsafe conditions do not develop and state-managed lands can remain open. No bathroom facilities are open. Entry passes are required.
Federal Lands (Shiawassee NWR) :
During the current public health emergency, whenever possible, outdoor recreation sites at national wildlife refuges will remain open to the public.
If visiting one of our locations, please ensure public health and safety by following guidance from the CDC and state and local public health authorities. You can do this by maintaining social distancing, avoiding overcrowding and exercising good hygiene.
Please Help Us Preserve the Memory of Joe Soehnel's Contributions to Saginaw Bay Birding
A small group of Saginaw Bay Area birders has been working on recognizing Joe Soehnel for his efforts in promoting the interest of birders and birding in the Saginaw Bay Area. We were successful in obtaining approval from the Hampton Township Board of Bay County to rename a portion of the Hampton Nature Trail as the Joseph M. Soehnel Trail. That portion of the trail runs from the end of Knight Road to the end of Finn Road in Hampton Township/Essexville. Joe was instrumental in preserving this section as a Nature Trail and frequently birded the trail. You may also have spent time birding on this trail as one of the prime birding spots in the Saginaw Bay Area.
Many have personally birded with Joe and enjoyed his skills and knowledge of the local birds and habitats. As well, even more have followed his reports on the Saginaw Bay Birding website. As part of our agreement with the Township Board, we agreed to establish a fund to help with changes in signage (to appropriately mark the trail in Joe's recognition) and to help with future maintenance of signage. To help with the funding necessary to make and maintain these changes, we have worked with the Bay Area Community Foundation to establish and manage a fund which the Township will be able to use for these purposes. By using the Foundation for this endeavor, it will enable your contribution to be made on-line as a tax deductible donation.
To make your donation, please click the button below:
If you prefer to not donate on-line, you can send a check to:
Bay Area Community Foundation 1000 Adams St.
Bay City, MI 48708
Be sure to add Joe Soehnel Trail on your check.
Joe was an excellent friend, a wonderful and thoughtful person and an exceptional birdwatcher. Please be generous in helping us with a permanent memorial to Joe Soehnel. Thank you for your consideration.
The Joseph M. Soehnel Nature Trail Committee
The Saginaw Bay Area (SBA) is comprised of seven counties surrounding and near to the Saginaw Bay: Iosco, Arenac, Bay, Midland, Saginaw, Tuscola, and Huron. The Saginaw Bay watershed is the largest contiguous freshwater coastal wetland system in the United States. This is a critical migratory stopover for over 250 bird species of which over 200 species remain to establish nesting territories in this habitat rich and diverse region.
We hope that you'll continue to utilize this valuable natural resource right in our midst. If you've never visited, take the time to experience the Saginaw Bay Area's nature/birding opportunities via this website and the Saginaw Bay Birding Trail!
To submit your sightings, e-mail or forward your eBird checklists to: