Frankenlust Township Nature Park enhances its offerings to appeal to more diverse visitors

Fans of hammocks, fishing, hiking, and nature each will find something to love at the Frankenlust Township Nature Park.

For years, the park at 6007 Three Mile Road consisted mainly of a pond surrounded by empty land.

Then, about 18 months ago, the Friends of the Frankenlust Township Nature started making improvements. Friends committee member Barb Crews says they built a shade pavilion, installed poles for a hammock hotel, assembled new benches, and put in fishing docks. They also took steps to control invasive species.

Docks make it easier for anglers to enjoy two ponds inside the Frankenlust Township Nature Park.Paths wind around Michael’s Turtle Pond and Dodge Pond. A map explains how to walk ¼-mile, ½-mile, or ¾-mile on the trails. The same map pinpoints where observers can see duck, bird, and bat houses.

Crews says she’s not sure exactly how much money was invested in the park. Financing came from the Bay Area Community Foundation, Saginaw Bay Watershed Initiative Network, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, and donations. The Friends group also got help from the Chippewa Nature Center and Saginaw Valley State University’s Geography Department.

We just work together as a committee to get things done,” Crews says.

Benches along the paths winding through the park invite hikers to take a break and enjoy the sights and sounds.The park, located at the intersection of Hotchkiss and Three Mile roads, is open to visitors now, but everyone also is invited to enjoy informal tours and an open house from 4 to 5 p.m. on June 16. Township officials will offer at lemonade toast at 4:45 p.m. If the weather doesn’t cooperate, the open house will be held June 27.

“While many of these improvements are modest on their own, collectively they've helped make a major impact on who is able to use the park and the kinds of activities they can enjoy,” Crews says. 

“It's rare for a township in our region to have a nature focused park, and creating access to these resources is something we are incredibly proud of.”