Old General Motors Site In Saginaw To Be Transformed Into New Park

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Old General Motors site in Saginaw to be transformed into new park

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Saginaw urban park
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Gallery: Saginaw urban park

SAGINAW, MI -- A former General Motors site and a nearby landfill are a step closer to becoming a recreational area for hikers and bicyclists.

Saginaw County Commissioners will consider approving a lease agreement between the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and the county for the former Saginaw Malleable Iron site and Greenpoint Landfill near Salt and Center streets.

If approved, the state will acquire the 332 acres and lease it to the county for the creation of a park.

The site has a half mile of Saginaw River frontage, a 19-acre pond, 36 acres of scrub-shrub wetlands, grasslands and pockets of wooded areas.

The property is west of downtown Saginaw, and north of the Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge. Eventually, trails could connect from the new park to the refuge, to downtown Saginaw and Michigan's Iron Belle Trail.

The land's positioning can potentially make it a hub for passive recreational uses and open space preservation, as opposed to playgrounds and sporting fields, officials said.

The property is owned by RACER Trust, which was created in 2011 to clean up and repurpose GM properties for redevelopment after the automaker's bankruptcy in 2009.

GM got rid of five properties in Saginaw during its downsizing. They were among 89 properties in the US that moved into RACER's possession.

Once the property transfers from RACER to DNR has taken place, the DNR and Saginaw County will begin to develop the property with two grants awarded to the DNR totaling $580,000 through the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund, according to Saginaw County Parks and Recreation Director Brian Lechel.

The idea of a park came about once it was realized that the particular site would not be repurposed for industrial use.

"Saginaw County Parks values this unique partnership opportunity to bring a former industrial site back into public ownership and accessibility along a vital corridor of the Saginaw River and Saginaw Bay watershed," Lechel said.

Land acquisition is estimated to take place in three to six months.

Commissioners meet at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, April 17.

Source : http://www.mlive.com/news/saginaw/index.ssf/2018/04/commission_to_consider_agreeme.html

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