Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge is located in central lower Michigan, approximately 25 miles south of Saginaw Bay. It was established in 1953 to provide habitat for migratory waterfowl.
Known locally as the "Shiawassee Flats," the refuge lies in the Saginaw Bay watershed, historically one of the largest and most productive wetland ecosystems in Michigan. Refuge habitat consists of riparian, floodplain/bottomland hardwood forests and emergent marshes, as well as moist soil management units and croplands. Four rivers converge on the refuge - the Tittabawassee, Flint, Cass, and Shiawassee.
Over 265 species of birds have been documented on the refuge, including raptors, shore and wading birds, and more than 100 songbird species. Shiawassee Refuge is designated as a United States Important Bird Area (IBA) for its global significance to migratory waterfowl. It is also one of six focus areas designated by the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Basin Joint Venture of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan. During peak populations in late October, up to 25,000 Canada geese and 40,000 ducks are present. A great diversity of other wildlife associated with freshwater marshes and floodplain forests are also found here.
The refuge headquarters is 5 miles south of Saginaw. From I-75, take the Bridgeport exit and turn west onto Dixie Highway; go 1/2 mile. Turn left onto Fort Road, and go about 2 miles. Turn west onto Curtis Road, and go about 4 miles to refuge headquarters.
The Green Point Environmental Learning Center is in the southwest corner of Saginaw. From I-75, take the M-46 West/Holland Ave. exit, and go 5 miles. Turn left onto Michigan Avenue, and go 1 mile. Turn left onto Maple Street, and go 1/2 mile to the Center.