If you know me well, you know that I start going stir crazy when I am stuck inside or at one place for any unreasonable length of time. With my lower back slowly recovering from an annoying pulled muscle, I have been tortured by my “itchy butt” syndrome over this last week. While the recent trip to Frankenmuth was a respite from my couch potato imitation, the “itch” was been getting worse with each passing day. Thus, this morning, after surfing the Internet for the umpteenth time, along with going up and down and then down and up, scrolling through the TV guide, I just had to get out and go for a nice, long walk.
I am so glad that I did because I ended up at the Saginaw Bay/Tibico March Visitor Center. It turned out to be a small, simple visitor center, with just a couple of rooms filled with exhibits. It presented information on how the marsh was formed and the various animals that call it home. It was fun to stroll through it, especially since I virtually had the place to itself and could take as much time as I wanted in front of each display.
I learned that the marsh formed behind a sand pit that was created along the shoreline of Saginaw Bay a few hundred years ago. As the spit developed, it slowly closed with the shore, forming a small lake isolated from the bay. Over time the fringe around the lake filled in with mud and muck and a freshwater wetland formed. The lake still remains but is significantly smaller now than when it formed. It has been altered by man over time due to logging efforts in the late 1800’s and again by the Civilian Conservation Corp back in the 1930s. It then became a private hunting club but as its membership declined, the two surviving owners donated the land containing the marsh to the State in 1957. Its guardian is now the State of Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources and is part of the Bay City Recreation Area.
The marsh is approximately 2000 acres in size and because it was formed being a long spit that enclosed with the shore, it parallels the bay shoreline. Deer, beaver, mink, muskrat, a dozen different species of song, shore, and marsh birds call it home. In the spring, and again in the fall, it is visited by thousands of migratory waterfowl since it is located along a major fly zone.
My exploration of the wetlands, the beach and the adjoining wooded uplands was very enjoyable. I will let the various photos I took present to you with what I saw.
Approaching Saginaw Bay By Going Over The March
Walking Along The Beach
Returning To The Marsh Via A Boardwalk
Walking Along the Marsh To The Garden By The Visitors Center