The Friends of the Bay City State Recreation Area was formed in 1994 as a support group for the interpretive program, the visitor center and other resources of the Bay City State Park. The Friends' purpose is to provide educational and recreational opportunities to people visiting the recreation area.

Many past visitors to the recreation area enjoyed climbing the Tobico Towers at the Tobico Marsh to catch the views of the oak forest and the wetlands. A grant request came from the Friends organization for $15,000 to be renovated and returned to public access to view the oak forest and waterfowl migration.

In addition, the Friends of the Bay City State Recreation Area requested a grant for the development of a Spray Park to be built in the picnic area of the Bay City State Recreation Area. At the time of the request, the beach area of the State Park was not usable because of the muck and phragmites. The Friends wanted another water activity for children who were staying in the camp ground or on a day trip to the recreation area.  

Community Impact

testimonial author Elizabeth C. Martin - Bay City Garden Club

"It is with deep gratitude and appreciation the Bay City Garden Club thanks the Kantzler Foundation for its generous support over many years. In 1975, the Bay City Garden Club visualized an arboretum along the Saginaw River as a gift to the city of Bay City for environmental, educational and ornamental purposes. The initial Kantzler donation in 1977 helped fund the arboretum's master design plan and to later install sidewalks and extensive landscape plantings. Further donations from the Kantzler Foundation helped create the Kantzler Memorial Arboretum and it was proudly dedicated to the community in 1981. A substantial Kantzler grant in 2011 helped complete the southwest section, and the 2014 dedication of the Kantzler Memorial Arboretum's Interpretive Center was made possible by another remarkable Kantzler grant. This Kantzler legacy is appreciated by Bay City residents and visitors now and will be there for future generations.

The Kantzler Memorial Arboretum is a beautiful contribution to all ages in our community, giving us a place to explore nature and spend time outside, helping create a necessary balance in our lives. This 21 acre jewel along the west bank of Bay City's Saginaw River has improved the quality of life in Bay County and the Arboretum will benefit the public for many years to come."

Do you have questions about our Grant Application Process? Contact Us

The Kantzler Foundation provides financial support for charitable projects and programs that directly benefit the residents of Bay County in areas such as: education, science, arts, culture, human services, conservation, beautification and recreation.

Office Location

Pere Marquette Depot

1000 Adams St., Suite 200
Bay City, MI 48708
Phone: (989) 893-4438
Email: kathy@kantzler.org