History of the park
In 1999, General Motors donated to the City of Bay City an unused 27-acre piece of land adjacent to its manufacturing site in Bay City on the Saginaw River. The donation was from a cooperative settlement claim by the State of Michigan, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Saginaw Chippewa Tribe for natural resource damages. The vision for this piece of property was the construction of a boat launch and adjacent nature path that would provide an outdoor environmental classroom.
By 2002, the construction of the boat launch and nature park had been completed. Soon afterwards, it was dedicated in honor of Mr. Edward M. Golson Jr. for his local Environmental Stewardship. This site became known as the “Edward M. Golson Jr. Boat Launch and Nature Park”. Mr. Golson worked for the city of Bay City for many years as the environmental coordinator. Throughout his years in Bay City, Mr. Golson worked on many environmental projects, including: planting over a million walleye in the Saginaw Bay, founding the annual compost giveaway, and starting the city’s Recycling Committee. Due to his efforts, the city was able to bring in millions of dollars of grant money to work on environmental clean-up projects throughout the city. He worked hard for the creation of the boat launch and nature park; unfortunately, he died of cancer in 2001 before the park opened.
The nature park currently includes paved walkways, a wooden observation point overlooking a small wetland, and a gazebo that can easily be used as an outdoor classroom. The park is in an ideal location for education due to its wide variety of habitat and its location near several Bay City Public schools. This CD/website and the corresponding signs placed throughout the park were created in 2005 for people to interact with the park and understand everything it has to offer.