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To foster environmental stewardship of the Saginaw Bay Watershed and the Great Lakes ecosystem and to provide personal development opportunities for learners of all ages through shipboard and land based educational experiences.
BaySail was established in 1998 with the purchase of the 85 foot schooner Appledore IV. Originally commissioned by Herb and Doris Smith, the Appledore IV is the fourth in a series of schooners built for world voyaging. The Smith's adventures aboard the Appledores are chronicled in two books "Dreams of Natural Places" and "Sailing Three Oceans".
Bay City welcomed the Appledore IV on Friday, May 15, 1998. Since that time, her primary purpose has been to provide hands-on, environmental science experiences on the waters of the Saginaw River and Saginaw Bay.
BaySail's hands-on environmental education program, Science under Sail, has reached over 28,000 students in 22 different Michigan counties. This program is available to any student, regardless of age, race, or socio-economic background. Students have been welcomed aboard from public, private, and parochial schools, special needs groups, and home schools. Science under Sail programs are offered in the spring and fall each year.
In the summer months Appledore IV is used for youth-group sail training programs and short voyages to other Great Lakes ports, while maintaining a regular schedule of public sails in Bay City. The ship is also available for private charters and special events.
In October of 2002, BaySail purchased the 65 foot schooner Appledore V. With this vessel the Science under Sail program capacity was expanded to accommodate school groups that were often turned away in the past. Through the summer months the Appledore V is used for Windward Bound: a passage-making sail-training/freshwater ecology program designed to build character, self esteem, and leadership skills in youth ages 14-18. Windward Bound also includes a dockside program that operates through the winter months, providing skills training and sailing related activities to prepare youth participants for the summer voyages. In the fall the Appledore V sails the waters of Northern Lake Huron delivering Windjammer Voyages for adults.
BaySail has distinguished itself as a premier program not only in Michigan, but also throughout the country. At the November 2002 American Sail Training Association [ASTA] conference held in Toronto, Ontario, BaySail received the "Sea Education Program of the Year" award. ASTA was founded in 1973 and presently has over 250 member vessels, each operating a variety of programs under sail around the United States. The "Sea Education Program of the Year" award is given to the organization that "significantly contributes to the educational credibility of programs under sail and demonstrates a clear curriculum of educational goals which are compatible with curriculum goals of traditional schools."
BaySail's many collaborative partners include: Saginaw Valley State University, Delta College, the Boy's and Girl's Clubs of Michigan, Lutheran Child and Family Services and Parmenter House.
Currently BaySail is engaged in a capital campaign to raise 1.65 million dollars for construction of an environmental education center on the Saginaw River. The first of its kind in the Great Lakes region, the 5,000 sq. ft. facility will enable BaySail to chart a new course in science education in the region with innovative programs for K-12 school groups, public education seminars, and wetland demonstration projects. The multi-use facility will feature the latest in green design features with a strong focus on the latest technology in energy conservation, storm water runoff management, and waste reduction. The center's shore based programming will be complimented by BaySail's award winning shipboard programs that have served over 28,000 students since BaySail's inception 10 years ago. Click here to read more about the Saginaw Bay Environmental Education Center.
BaySail is a 501(c)3 non-profit governed by a 10 member Board of Directors.
- Carri McGuire
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