Overview

You can help keep the Metroparks a beautiful and vital part of community life by becoming a Friend of the Metroparks. Your membership contribution will help to maintain and improve the Metroparks so that you and others may continue to enjoy them for generations to come. And you can select from benefits such as vehicle permits, activity discounts, and special events depending upon your level of support.

When you become a Friend of the Metroparks, your fully tax-deductible donation will be used to maintain and improve recreational trails, preserve natural habitats, or wherever it is needed most. Your gift will support these critical needs and establish your membership in a society determined to protect and maintain the Metroparks.

Background

The Huron-Clinton Metroparks are a greenbelt of parks surrounding the metro Detroit area along the Huron and Clinton rivers. Based in five counties in southeast Michigan, the 13 Metroparks cover nearly 25,000 acres and provide beautiful, natural environments for area residents to enjoy. Hiking, cycling, golfing, swimming, canoeing and kayaking, fishing, picnicking, winter sports and nature education are just some of the activities the Metroparks make available to area residents.

The natural beauty and ecology of the area have been preserved within the Metroparks for the benefit of the population of southeast Michigan and have been enjoyed for generations. The intention is that the Huron-Clinton Metroparks will remain a lovely and vital asset, enhancing the quality of life for area residents for many generations to come.

Impacts

  • Nearly 25,000 acres of land along the Huron and Clinton rivers are maintained for the enjoyment of visitors and the protection of the environment.
  • In an average year, about 9 million people visit the Metroparks.
  • The 13 regional Huron-Clinton Metroparks offer visitors nearly 140 miles of trails and more than 150 miles of lake and river shoreline.
  • The Metroparks feature 1,800 acres of inland lakes and waterfront vistas along Lake St. Clair and Lake Erie.
  • Facilities include hike-bike, nature and equestrian trails, golf courses, picnic shelter rentals, boat launches, rentals and marinas, cross-country skiing and other winter sports, pools and water parks, group camping, disc golf courses, and interpretive programs at nature centers, two farm centers, and an historic grist mill.
  • More than 1.4 million total visitors toured the nature centers and designated nature trails, or enjoyed public classes offered by the nature centers, in 2014.
  • Approximately 100,000 students from southeast Michigan schools participated in Metroparks educational activities in 2014. This included students engaged in learning activities either in Metroparks by visiting with classmates for a program designed to fit their school curriculum or via the Metroparks Mobile Learning Center.

The Need

Public support of the Huron-Clinton Metroparks is linked to property taxes. As property values plummeted in southeast Michigan from 2008 to 2013, so did the amount provided for Metroparks operations. The result is a loss of about $7.6 million annually for the Metroparks budget, comparing 2008 to 2014. The cumulative loss since 2008 is nearly $30 million.

Funding is not projected to recover to the former dollar amount for more than a decade. By that time, inflation will likely have eroded its value. Staff has already been cut by nearly 25 percent, and benefits have been reduced for remaining staff. Necessary improvements and maintenance have been postponed, but that isn’t enough to make up the shortfall.

The Metroparks require voluntary public support if they are to continue to provide a quality experience to you and your family, friends and neighbors in southeast Michigan.

Donate

Thank you for your incredible parks! There’s nothing like this in California, where I recently lived.

Diana | Saint Clair Shores, MI

Keep up the great work as we love to go to the parks and enjoy what each and every one has to offer. Thank you.

Jeanette | St. Clair Shores, MI

You’re doing a great job keeping me informed of activities going on at the Metroparks! I never knew there was so much going on.

Melissa P. | Brighton, MI

I am thankful we have such wonderful parks to enjoy nature and exercise in a beautiful environment.

Michele Miros | Troy, MI

I love having picnics at the park and then floating down the river. Very relaxing.

Susan M. | Chelsea, MI

Since we retired, we’re rediscovering the Metroparks. In an hour or less we can be biking or playing golf with friends at any of more than a dozen of Southeast Michigan’s best places to play.

Pam and Quint Burkhart | Birmingham, MI

I go to the Metroparks because of the beauty. I always find it.

Ewald Stief | Royal Oak, MI
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