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Bay City and Interlochen state parks' ARPA-funded projects taking shape

Thanks to a slice of $250 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds, campers, day-use visitors and schoolchildren can look forward to a newly renovated Saginaw Bay Visitor Center in Bay City State Park and enhanced camping amenities at Interlochen State Park.

Saginaw Bay Visitor Center (Bay County)

As part of a $1.5 million project, the Saginaw Bay Visitor Center, in Bay City State Park, will undergo substantial renovations to both the interior and exterior.

The work includes renovations to the reception area and exhibit hall, new roof and siding, and the addition of a new science lab. These enhancements will benefit the thousands of people who visit each year – on their own or as part of a program – to learn more about Michigan's natural resources.

The visitor center will close to the public during construction, which will begin Nov. 21. The project is set to welcome visitors late June 2023. Periodic updates to the construction timeline will be posted at Michigan.gov/BayCity.

Interlochen State Park (Grand Traverse County)

Between three improvement projects, more than$3.5 million of ARPA funding will be invested in Interlochen State Park.

The first project will include replacing the electrical system, including new pedestals in each campsite in the south campground. The project is underway and scheduled for completion between Memorial Day and July 1, 2023. The reopening date will be announced at Michigan.gov/Interlochen.

Additional park improvements– taking place in later phases– will modernize and improve accessibility in the park's day-use and restroom building, replace the sanitary lift station that sends waste to the local wastewater treatment facility and enhance the underground water and sewer distribution system. Construction dates are yet to be determined.

The funding

A total of $250 million in federal relief funding was made available to the DNR last March to help address a long list of critical needs in state parks and trails, and build a new state park in Flint. These American Rescue Plan Act funds are part of a $4.8 billion infrastructure package outlined in Gov. Whitmer’s Building Michigan Together Plan.

Follow our progress

To stay up to date on the status of projects and learn more about funding and decision-making, visit the new state parks progress page.

There you'll find:

• An interactive map identifying proposed project locations and details, including status (proposed, design/bid phase, construction started or project completed) of each project. Please note: This map is specific to ARPA-funded projects; it does not include the variety of other work happening at state parks, trails and waterways.

  • Frequently asked questions.
  • State parks facts.
  • An evolving photo gallery, including many examples of the work needing to be done. As projects are completed, "after" photos will be added.

For more information, visit Michigan.gov/StateParksProgress.

Questions on the projects? Contact Rich Fenner, Bay City State Park interim manager, at 989-684-3020 or FennerR@Michigan.gov or Christopher Bush, Interlochen State Park interim manager, at 231-276-9511 or BushC1@Michigan.gov.

Contact: Rich Fenner, Bay City State Park manager, 989-684-3020, Christopher Bush, Interlochen State Park interim manager, at 231-276-9511 or Ron Olson, DNR Parks and Recreation Division chief, 517-243-1477