The Huron-Clinton Metropolitan Authority, a regional park system created in 1940 by the citizens of Southeast Michigan, provides excellent recreational and educational opportunities while serving as stewards of its natural resources. Our efforts are guided by the belief that the use of parks and exposure to natural environments enhance society’s health and quality of life.
The Metroparks offer 365-day access to open space, outdoor experiences, and abundant resources for the communities of Southeast Michigan now and into the future.
The Metroparks provide unique quality-of-life amenities to Southeast Michigan through our commitment to:
- Excellence in public service, stewardship, and programming; Sustainability in balancing the environmental, social, and economic impacts of the Metroparks; Responsibility in planning, development, and maintenance; and Connectivity to the places and people we serve.
The Huron-Clinton Metropolitan Authority, Metroparks, is a regional special park district encompassing Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Washtenaw and Livingston counties.
It was sanctioned by the Michigan State Legislature in Act No.147 of the Public Acts of 1939 and was approved, in 1940, by the residents of the five counties. The Board of Commissioners held its first meeting in 1941 and funding for the Metroparks became available in 1942.
The governing body of the HCMA is a seven-member Board of Commissioners. Two of the members are selected by the governor, to represent the district at large, and the other five are selected by the Board of Commissioners from each of the five member counties.
The Metroparks’ 2014 budgeted expenditures are $49.1 million. They are staffed by 197 full-time and over 800 part-time personnel. The Metroparks are funded, principally, by a property tax levy, limited to one-quarter of one mill (the rate for 2014 is .2146 mills), and by revenues from vehicle entry fees and other user fees for various facilities such as golf courses. A vehicle entry permit is required to enter any Metropark and is only $35 annually for regular admission, $21 annually for seniors or $10 daily.
Currently, 13 Metroparks cover almost 25,000 acres and serve over 8 million visitors on average annually. The Metroparks are located along the Huron and Clinton rivers, providing a greenbelt around the Detroit metropolitan area. The parks are, generally, more than 1,000 acres each, with Stony Creek and Kensington being more than 4,400 acres each.
The Metroparks provide a natural oasis from urban and suburban life. They provide an ever-growing variety of year round, outdoor recreational and educational activities in safe, clean environments. Picnicking, fishing, swimming, boating, hiking, nature study, biking, golf, disc golf, winter sports and a host of special outdoor programs and events are available within a short drive to southeast Michigan residents.
The Metroparks are recognized for their extensive paved hike/bike trails and for their golf courses. More than 55 miles of paved hike/bike trails course through the Metroparks and some of these trails connect with many more miles of trails outside the Metroparks. The system operates 7 regulation golf course and one par-3 course.
The HCMA has made a strong commitment to environmental education and preservation. It operates nine full-service interpretive centers — nature, farm and historical — that provide a variety of programs, both on site and off site, for almost 1.4 million people annually. An eleventh interpretive center, the “Mobile Learning Center,” visits schools, community centers, fairs and other locations in southeast Michigan to conduct nature, farm and history programs for groups that may not have the means or opportunities to visit a Metropark.