Bay City State Recreation Area celebrates 17th annual Wetland Wake-Up Day April 25

Bay City State Recreation Area invites Mid-Michigan families to celebrate Earth Day, Arbor Day and the return of spring at the 17th annual Wetland Wake-Up Day Saturday, April 25. Activities will run 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Saginaw Bay Visitor Center, which is located inside the recreation area (3582 State Park Drive, in Bay City).

wetland-wakeup-kite-flyingWetland Wake-Up Day is an opportunity for youth and their families to learn about nature and how they can enjoy and conserve Michigan’s wetland wildlife resources through simple, innovative backyard habitat improvement projects.

This event also is designed to promote the significance of the upcoming International Migratory Bird Day with the annual Migratory Bird Kite Clinic and Fly-Up. Children participating in the free kite clinic will learn about the thousands of migratory birds staging in and around the Saginaw Bay. Each child will select one of these birds as the inspiration to decorate a kite, and then assemble it and enter it in the kite fly-up along the shores of the Saginaw Bay.

Free “make-and-take” workshops will be offered throughout the day, allowing participants to create backyard habitat improvement projects that will help them share their backyard space with wildlife. Participants in each workshop will learn about the featured animal’s conservation story, its habitat requirements and ideas on how to share backyard space. Projects include butterfly houses, oriole feeders, toad houses, bluebird nest boxes, suet feeders and bat houses. Visitors also can learn about the wetland invaders that are threatening Michigan’s native habitat and how they can help the DNR identify their presence.

Guided tree, bird, wildflower and “wetland alien invader” hikes also will be offered in the morning and afternoon. Bird-banding demonstrations will be conducted by Hartley Outdoor Education Center. Families who attend the event will receive a free Michigan white pine seedling, compliments of GM Powertrain, to take home and plant in celebration of Arbor Day 2015.

Families may want to bring along their digital cameras for a one-of-a-kind Wildlife Photo Safari, a unique way to explore the marsh and maybe even win a prize. For more information please stop by the Saginaw Bay Visitor Center, located in Bay City State Recreation Area, or call 989-667-0717.

This fun-filled outdoor celebration is co-sponsored by the Friends of Bay City State Recreation Area.

Inside Michigan’s Great Outdoors subscribers are always the first to know about reservation opportunities, state park events and other outdoor happenings.

There is no charge to participate in Wetland Wake-Up Day, but a Recreation Passport is required for vehicle entry to Bay City State Recreation Area.

A Recreation Passport grants vehicle access to any Michigan state park, boat launch, state forest campground or nonmotorized state trailhead parking. Residents can purchase the Passport for just $11 ($5 for motorcycles) at the time of Michigan license plate renewal through Secretary of State. Forgot to check “YES” during renewal? Residents and nonresidents can purchase a Recreation Passport window sticker during regular business hours at state parks. Learn more about how the Recreation Passport supports state parks and local outdoor recreation opportunities at www.michigan.gov/recreationpassport.