Overview

 1936Dr. Henry S. Curtis is assigned by the National Youth Administration to conduct a 1936 study of recreational opportunities in Washtenaw County.
 1937To help set the stage for enabling legislation, representatives of civic groups and interested citizens from the five counties are invited to confer at the University of Michigan. The meeting in March, 1937, led to the establishment of a Huron Valley Committee and adoption of various resolutions calling for recreational development along the waterway.
 1939Groundwork climaxed with the February, 1939 introduction of Senate Bill 115 in the state legislature to authorize establishment of the Huron-Clinton Metropolitan Authority. Duly passed, it was signed into law by Governor Lauren D. Dickenson as Public Act 147 in May. 1939.
 1940Public in all five counties had referendum vote approving Public Act 147.
 1941The appointed Board of Commissioners hold its first organization meeting, on May 15, 1941.
 1942George W. McCordic is appointed Director.
 1944A 385-acre tract of land fronting Lake St. Clair in Macomb County is the first acquisition in 1944 and formed the beginning of St. Clair Metropolitan Beach.
 1945HCMA begins acquiring 4,200 acres along Huron River in Livingston and Oakland counties, which would become Kensington Metropark. This included 60 acre Kent Lake.
 1946To help speed land acquisition, the State Legislature appropriated $1,000,000 in July, 1946, to be granted to the Authority on a matching basis.
 1948Kensington Metropark opened, 4400 acres.
 1949By 1949, just eight years after the Authority was created, land acquisition reached a total of 6,300 acres. Marginal farmland and a 60-acre lake in Oakland and Livingston counties had been converted into a 3,600-acre public park with 1,200-acre Lake that was able to serve up to 45,000 visitors on peak days.
 1950In August, 1950, Metropolitan Beach opened to thousands and quickly becomes a mecca for swimmer, boaters and fisherman. Also opened in 1950, were Lower Huron and Marshbank Metropolitan parks.
 1951Kenneth L. Hallenback is appointed Director.
 1952Northwest of Ann Arbor, a riverside park previously operated by Washtenaw County Road Commission was acquired by the Authority and redeveloped to expand its capacity. Open in 1952 as Dexter-Huron Metropolitan Park, the fifth in the chain, it immediately became a favorite of picnickers and canoeists.
 1953By 1953, Kensington expands to 4,000 acres with two beaches, and is visited by more than a million people.
 1956In 1956, a new site astride the Oakland County-Macomb County line, to contain some 3,500 acres, was approved by the Authority’s Board of Commissioners. The master plan for this proposed park, named Stony Creek, was patterned after the highly successful Kensington Park.
 1957The parks assume added dimension in 1957 when the Authority opens its first Nature Center Building at Kensington.
 1957Two new Metropolitan parks are opened in Washtenaw County along the Huron River in 1957, bringing to seven the number operated by the Authority. Both the 45-acre Delhi and the 600-acre Hudson Mills parks provide visitors scenic views of the Huron-River.
 1959By 1959, the Authority had opened seven regional parks covering over 9,000 acres in the valleys of the Huron and Clinton rivers.
 1961The Authority’s first 18-hole regulation golf course opens at Kensington.
 1964Stony Creek Metropolitan Park opens for public use. The large park, embracing 3,500 acres, provides swimming, boating and fishing on a 500-acre man-made lake.
 1968In 1969, Director Hallenback retired. David O. Laidlaw was appointed by the HCMA Board of Commissioners to fill the position.
 1969By then end of 1969, the Authority operated eight parks encompassing 10,300 acres.
 1970Willow Metropark, containing some 1,500 acres along the Huron River, opened in 1970 as the ninth in the system and second in Wayne County.
 1975The 10th site and Wayne County’s third became Oakwoods Metropark, which opened in 1975 and grew to encompass 1,700 acres.
 1975By 1975, half the land for Wolcott Mill, a proposed 3,500-acre Metropark in Macomb County, and for Indian Springs, seen as a 2,000-acre site in Oakland County, had been acquired along the holdings for a new project, Lake Erie Metropark, in Wayne County.
 1976The 10 Metroparks in operation by 1976 were recording combined annual attendance of more than 8,000,000 visitors, demonstrating an ever growing need for additional recreational facilities.
 1977In 1977, land for the 14th site was acquired. Named Huron Meadows, the site would cover 1,500 acres south of Brighton in Livingston County.
 1979By the end of the 1970s, as facilities were added to existing parks and improvements made, parklands under Authority jurisdiction surpassed 20,000 acres.
 1980Lake Erie Metropark opens in 1980 providing picnicking, fishing and scenic views along the Lake Erie shoreline.
 1982Opening in 1982 was the 1,600-acre Indian Spring Metropark, as the headwaters of the Huron River in Oakland County.
 1984Huron Meadows emerged in 1984 with the opening of an 18-hole golf course. Future plans of the 1,500-acre park in Livingston County called for picnic areas, hiking and cross-county ski trails, and fishing on the 60-acre Maltby Lake.
 1985In 1985, David O. Laidlaw, Director since 1969, retired and James J, Pompo, Deputy Director, was appointed Director.
 1987In 1987, the 115-acre Marshbank Metropark was donated to West Bloomfield Township. Marshbank had been under the jurisdiction of the Authority since 1945.
 1988James J, Pompo, Director since 1985, retired in February of 1988, and William P. Sherman, Deputy Director, was appointed Director.
 1989Wolcott Mill opened to public use in 1989 and featured a pre-Civil War grist mill that became part of the Authority.
 1995In 1995, a park user survey indicated that the Metroparks’ features rated highest included the beauty of the surroundings, employees’ friendliness, safety and security, as well as clean and functioning facilities.
 1997Frank J. Sudek is appointed Director.
 1998In 1998 the Huron-Clinton Metropolitan Authority purchased the Northbook Golf Course, which was renamed the Wolcott Mill Metropark Golf Course.
 2000Gary C. Bartsch is appointed Director.
 2004In 2004, the Huron-Clinton Metroparks Foundation is officially launched.
 2005Indian Springs Metorparks Environmental Discovery Center opens that provides twenty-first-century adventures in the natural sciences.
 2006James Bresciami is appointed Director.
 2008Turtle Cove Family Aquatic Center, a facility that features two water slides, a zero-depth activity pool, an endless lazy river and a dumping bucket/water playscape, opened in summer 2008.
 2012John McCulloch is appointed Director.
 2015George Phifer is appointed Director.
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