The concept of a regional southeast Michigan park system can be traced back to the ideas and the work of two men, Dr. Henry S. Curtis and Professor Harlow O. Whittemore. Their plan included a limited-access parkway that would connect a series of four to five large parks, each consisting of at least 1,000 acres of land. They envisioned the parks existing throughout five counties and running along the Huron and Clinton Rivers.
The vision of Dr. Curtis and Prof. Whittemore came to life with Public Act 147 of the Michigan Legislature, in 1939, which provided incorporation of the Huron-Clinton Metropolitan Authority. In 1940, the people of Livingston, Macomb, Oakland, Washtenaw and Wayne counties voted to move the measure forward. The true birth of the Metroparks system occurred in 1942, when the first funds became available from a millage assessment. The primary purpose of the Huron-Clinton Metroparks Authority was, and still remains, to plan, acquire, develop, and operate regional recreational facilities.
What started as a vision became one of the largest regional park systems in the nation. The parks were created for, and by, residents of southeast Michigan for relaxation and enjoying outdoor activities. Within a remarkably short period of time, that vision developed into the Huron-Clinton Metropolitan Authority.
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The Metroparks are proud to play a special part in the lives of so many southeast Michigan residents. As we honor our 75th year, we want to celebrate the Metroparks experiences you’ve enjoyed with family and friends. Please share your stories, photos and memories with us.
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