Bay City State Recreation Area Phase 2 General Management Plan

Clearzoning is helping Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources Parks & Recreation Division (DNR-PRD) with the development of the Phase 2 General Management Plan (GMP) for Bay City State Recreation Area.

The GMP defines a long-range (10- to 20-year) planning and management strategy that will assist the DNR Parks and Recreation Division in meeting its responsibilities to protect and preserve the site’s natural and cultural resources, and to provide access to land- and water-based public recreation and educational opportunities.

Bay City State Recreation Area Phase 1 General Management Plan

The Phase 1 GMP for Bay City State Recreation Area was approved in December 2010. This plan identified the Purpose and Significance of the park and designated Management Zones which reflect the land preservation goals and recreation programming for different areas within the park.

In April 2015, the DNR-PRD and Bay County, approved the Lakefront and Beach Access Study Report for Bay City State Recreation Area.  The over-arching goal of this collaborative plan was to increase visitation at the lake shore, improve public access to the Saginaw Bay, strengthen the relationship between the park and the local community, support the economic vitality of the region, and protect and preserve the natural and cultural features of the park and legal mandates pertaining to the park.

Final Lakefront and Beach Access Study Report

The Phase 2 GMP will build upon these two previous planning efforts.  The Plan will establish long-range action goals for thDSC_0268_contraste park as a whole and for each of the management zones defined in Phase 1 of the General Management Plan.   Action goals will be developed that address Natural Resources, Historic/Cultural Resources, Recreation Opportunities, Educational/Interpretation Opportunities, Management Focus, and future Development.  All proposed action decisions focus on the mission of the Parks & Recreation Division (PRD), and the specific purpose and significance of the park, identified during the Phase 1 process.

The development of the Phase 2 GMP begins with the assembly of a Planning Team from various specialists within the DNR.  The Planning Team typically includes the Park Manager, Regional Planner, District Supervisor, Stewardship Unit staff, and the PRD Management Plan Administrator.  In addition, staff from the DNR Resource Divisions participate, including Law Enforcement, Wildlife, Fisheries and Forestry.

The Department of Natural Resources hosted an open house Thursday, August 11, and invited public input on a new draft Phase 2 General Management Plan for Bay City State Recreation Area. Comments for the Draft Phase 2 General Management Plan were accepted through August 26, 2016. 

We would like to thank all those who attended the open house, as well as those who provided feedback on the plan.

The Draft Phase 2 General Management Plan is located below.

More information on the General Management Planning process is available at the DNR’s Park Management Planning website:


1 Comment

  1. The Preserved Area, non-disturbance use restrictions DNR recorded over the Day Use beachfront conflicts with the original conveyance and donation of the property by the City of Bay City to Michigan State Park Commission for Public Recreation purposes, the recorded restrictions prevent recreational use and therefore must be removed.
    2. The beach improvements identified by the community stakeholders for the 1994 Master Plan are still community priorities. And these must be completed (Entire beach cleaned for swimming, development of a boardwalk, Bayfront trail, fishing pier and scenic outlook) BEFORE any new planning effort is undertaken.


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