Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge
Wood ducks are one of the birds that migrate through Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge. Photo by Chris Smith/Flickr
The Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge is the gateway to the Great Lakes and contains one of the largest and most productive wetland ecosystems in Michigan. Not far from Saginaw, this urban refuge draws 60,000 visitors a year and provides outstanding opportunities for hiking, wildlife viewing, hunting, fishing and boating. Large populations of migratory birds also use the refuge as a stopover point.
In recent years, the Fund has helped add more than 230 acres to Shiawassee NWR. Most recently, in 2009, we helped protect nearly 120 acres situated along the Cass River. We partnered with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and DTE Energy—with key support from Ducks Unlimited and the North American Wetlands Conservation Council. The land was added to the refuge as part of a partnership launched in 2007 with USFWS and DTE Energy to reduce and offset carbon emissions. We purchased the property in 2008 and held it until USFWS could secure the necessary funding to take ownership in 2009.
These acres includes a combination of bottomland hardwood swamp, shrub marsh and oak ridges that provide a home for a variety of wildlife, including wood ducks, barred owls, eastern wood-pewees, wood thrushes, American redstarts and scarlet tanagers.
Prior to 2009, in partnership with USFWS, we acquired 113 acres to establish a Great Lakes Visitors Center, trail complex and wildlife observation stations. The center provides interactive exhibits and presents information that offers a broader view of the Great Lakes Basin.