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Full time positions open up in Metroparks’ unique Police Department; qualified applicants of all backgrounds urged to apply

Police officers looking for a change of pace while still making a positive community difference might find the Huron-Clinton Metroparks to be just be the place for them as the park system seeks to fill three full-time Police Department positions. “For those who want a rewarding career in law enforcement with an emphasis on helping people while protecting some of…

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Bird of the Week: Great Horned Owl

This stealthy predator is at the top of the food chain. The Great Horned Owl’s wing structure allows it to silently sneak up on prey and deal a deadly blow with the force of their talons. Their adaptability to different habitats and large range of prey makes them one of the most common owl species in North America. This explains…

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Bird of the Week: Northern Harrier

Northern Harriers might be one of the more underrated raptor species in Michigan, but that doesn’t make them any less cool. These birds are easily recognized by their slim bodies, long tails and owl-like face. While they’re not related to owls, they share some characteristics with them, including a facial disk to help them hear their prey. These birds prefer…

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Bird of the Week: American Kestrel

When most people think of birds of prey, they envision large, powerful raptors ruling over the skies. With the preconception planted firmly in our minds, when the American Kestrel enters the scene it is often mistaken as something much more demurer. Once commonly referred to as “Sparrow Hawks”, this nickname reflects their small stature as well as one of their…

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Gyms Are Open, but Parks Provide an Additional Option: Top 6 reasons to work out OUTSIDE

Lifting weights, burning calories, endorphins pumping. Monthly fees, stuffy rooms, people on the machine next to you, unsure if the previous user disinfected the equipment after they finished. What are we talking about? – gyms and they reopened this week across our region. If you’re not quite comfortable hitting the gym again yet, there’s another way to get healthy and…

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Bird of the Week: Broad-winged Hawk

The month of September marks the official beginning of one of the greatest natural phenomena to occur in southeast Michigan…hawk migration! Each year, from September to November, thousands of raptors are heading south for the winter. For the next three months, 16 different species of raptors will fly over our area. Interestingly, they do not all pass on the same…

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Notice Of Electronic Remote Meeting Of The Board Of Commissioners Of The Huron-Clinton Metropolitan Authority

Please take notice that a regular meeting of the Board of Commissioners of the Huron-Clinton Metropolitan Authority will be held on Thursday, Sept. 10, 2020 at 1:00 pm at the Administrative Office and by electronic remote access in accordance with Governor Whitmer’s Executive Order 2020-154, will be implemented in response to COVID-19.
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Harvesting: Getting the Most from your Garden

What if much of what we need for our well-being could be found in a small patch of soil? Many people plant personal gardens in the summer and the most rewarding thing about planting one is harvesting in the fall! The harvesting time for each plant depends on several factors including length of maturity, temperature, precipitation, health of the soil,…

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Bird of the Week: American Goldfinch

Our visitors often ask, “Do we have Canaries in Michigan?” The short answer is no, but right away our staff realizes the patron has just seen a male American Goldfinch. The male wears his bright yellow breeding color in the summer, accessorized with black wings and cap. He is dressed to impress! His mate will be wearing a much more…

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Bird of the Week: Baltimore Oriole

If you see a flash of orange and black flitting through the trees, it just might be a Baltimore Oriole. Named in 1808, the colors of the male oriole resembled those on the coat of arms of George Calvert, Lord Baltimore, who was part of the Calvert family that established the Maryland colony in the 17th century. Even though they…

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Bird of the Week: Black-crowned Night-Heron

As their name suggests, the Black-crowned Night-Heron does most of its hunting at night. Although they are common in the wetlands of Michigan they are not seen as often as other herons such as the Great Blue Heron who hunts during the day. During the day, the Black-crowned Night-Heron roosts in group nests that may consist of other bird species…

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Bird of the Week: Indigo Bunting

It's hard not to be impressed by this bright beauty. The male indigo bunting demands attention with its striking blue color but, as with the blue jay and eastern bluebird, it isn't truly blue. The feathers of blue birds don’t actually contain any blue pigment, which is actually quite rare in the natural world. The blue hue is created by…

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Bird of the Week: Gray Catbird (Dumetella carolinensis)

If you hear a raspy meowing from a tree along the nature trail, think “bird”, not “cat”! You’ve probably just heard the call of the Gray Catbird. Its feathers are a uniform slate gray, with a rust-colored patch under its tail, but it is most well-known for its “meowing” call. Lucky observers might see it bobbing its long tail while…

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Water, the Root of the Solution: Exploring water’s role in the health of the environment

Written by: Jessica Getschman, C.I.G. – Indian Springs Metropark Interpreter Michigan is known for its fresh water, and that includes more than just the Great Lakes.  Swamps, fens, marshes, rivers, and so many more types of wetlands are found scattered throughout our state. This makes water quality a great place to start the conversation about a healthy environment in Michigan. …

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Wasps: Heroines for the Lazy Home Gardener

Written by: Victoria Taylor Sluder, Western District Interpretive Services Supervisor D.I.Y. In my grandmother’s time self-sufficiency was more of a requirement than an option.  My generation hasn’t needed to know how to make bread when every grocery store always has racks of bagged loaves waiting for purchase whenever one wants a slice.  Why bother with yeast and flour? Sure, hobby baking…

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Kensington Metropark “Splash ‘N’ Blast” closes temporarily as precaution after employee tests positive for COVID-19

The Huron-Clinton Metroparks temporarily closed Kensington Metropark’s splash pad today and released the following information and statement from Director, Amy McMillan, following a positive COVID-19 test result received late Monday, July 27, from a seasonal employee working at the Kensington water facility – Splash ‘N’ Blast. “Ensuring the health and safety of park visitors and employees is always our top…

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Bird of the Week: Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Planting tubular flowers or setting up feeders can attract these fast flitting birds to your yard. The Ruby-throated Hummingbird will feed from hummingbird feeders filled with a mixture of one quarter cup of table sugar per cup of water. As for flowers they prefer orange or red tubular flowers, but there is no need to color your sugar water these…

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Bird of the Week: Eastern Meadowlark

This beautiful singer and cousin to red-winged blackbirds shares its tune across the tops of fields and grasslands. This robin-sized songbird can be identified by a bold “V” of black on its yellow chest, and a brownish backside. Meadowlarks are ground-nesters, and camouflage well into the dirt and grasses. Females construct a cup nest using grasses, stems, and bark all…

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30 Years of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Work of the Metroparks

Have you ever been grocery shopping with your baby in a stroller and had to use the ramp or curb cut to get into and out of the store?  What about using a ramp or elevator instead of stairs as you book-it through the airport with luggage? How about the verbal notices of stops on the airport train or the…

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Partnerships Help Make Your Metroparks Accessible

Accessible recreation is an important goal of the Metroparks. Removing barriers and increasing access are a top priority when looking at all new projects and infrastructure improvements. But how do we make the best decisions for possible improvements? One way is by working with partners and receiving public input. We been working with the Fun, Accessible, Inclusive, Recreation (FAIR) Play…

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Bird of the Week: Common Yellowthroat

Watch for a small flash of black and yellow in short shrubs or low tree branches for a chance to see the Common Yellowthroat. This warbler species is commonly seen throughout Michigan marshes, prairies, forests, and backyards from May to the end of September, when it migrates to the southern United States and South America for the winter. Adult males…

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Bird of the Week: Barn Swallow

Barn Swallows are the most abundant swallow species in the world, and you can see them in Michigan during the late spring and summer months. You’ll find these agile flyers over open water, fields and meadows feeding on insects. Their speed and maneuverability while in flight is both graceful and awesome. Colors of cobalt blue and copper flash and glisten…

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Bird of the Week: Killdeer

Though classified as a shorebird, this lanky-legged bird makes its summer home in fields, lawns, on golf courses and even parking lots. This migrant species has adapted well to human environments. Killdeer are ground-nesters and a male will choose a nesting site by scraping the ground into a bowl shape with his feet. Once eggs are laid in this barren…

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Virtual Races at Your Metroparks

Are you tired of being cooped up and ready to get back to racing? Well, the race is on at your Metroparks! The Metroparks have partnered with Epic Races for a Heart MI Virtual Series: Swim. Bike. Run. This year, we invite you to be your own race director and choose the event or events of your choice this summer. …

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New Partnership to Support and Improve Rouge Park

Helen Keller said, “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”  Your Metroparks are excited to partner with Detroit Parks and Recreation to make improvements to restored prairie habitats within Rouge Park. In March Huron-Clinton Metroparks signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Detroit Parks and Recreation on a three-year agreement to complete natural areas management…

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Natural Resources Staff Keep Rivers Safe

July is Parks and Recreation month, and this year the focus is on showcasing the talented workers at parks. Your Metroparks have many skilled staff, performing a variety of tasks that keep the parks safe, maintained and ready for visitors. You might not be aware that we have a skilled Natural Resources Department that is hard at work all year…

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Shelden Trails Redevelopment Project Kicks-Off at Stony Creek Metropark

The highly anticipated redevelopment of the Shelden Trails at Stony Creek Metropark is officially underway! The redevelopment was identified as a need during the master planning process for Stony Creek in 2016. In 2018, The Huron-Clinton Metroparks started the multi-year redevelopment with a goal to extend and develop the Shelden Trail system to create a premiere multi-use natural surface trail…

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Make Your Summer Memorable at Your Metroparks

It’s no secret that this summer looks different than any other before it. This Fourth of July holiday weekend is sure to look different as well – but your Metroparks have what you need to make it just as memorable. The night sky above your Metroparks won’t lite up with color this year because we have canceled our annual fireworks…

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A Different Kind of Essential Worker

We hear a lot about pollinators these days. So, who are these pollinators? With a few clicks of my mouse and some fast typing, I can pull up pictures of bees, wasps, butterflies, hummingbirds, moths (even hummingbird moths!), bats, beetles, wasps, and flies. I’ve been doing a lot of computer-based learning lately, and perhaps you have too. But the great…

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Open Letter: You belong here and you are welcome here. They’re YOUR Metroparks.

On June 11, 2020 the Board of Commissioners of the Huron-Clinton Metroparks took action to endorse the following open letter statement. There is no question we are living in a time of profound challenge, hurt, anger and frustration. From the coronavirus health pandemic that hit Michigan, our region and communities of color hard, to the horrific incidents and images that…

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Metroparks Finish the School Year Strong by Providing Virtual Options to Complete School Field Trips

  Each school year, the Metroparks Interpretive Department works to provide quality educational experiences to southeast Michigan students. Programs are designed to meet curriculum standards and inspire students through hands on applied learning in a way that can’t be done in the classroom. Although the end of this school year changed drastically, our goal did not. The Metroparks were fortunate…

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Pandemic Disc Golf Operations Require Creative Solutions to Better Serve Visitors

The Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted and changed services and operations in all businesses, and even still we are continually monitoring and changing the way we operate to better serve our visitors. The Metroparks have worked hard to provide a safe place for our communities to enjoy outdoor recreation during the pandemic.  Although some amenities and activities were (and remain) temporarily…

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Bird of the Week: Bald Eagle

In honor of the upcoming Independence Day we are featuring, you guessed it, the Bald Eagle!  This #BirdoftheWeek was chosen as the symbol of the United States in 1782 for its strength, longevity and majestic appearance, which represents the strength and freedom of our nation. Benjamin Franklin argued against our nation’s symbol, because the eagle steals food from more vulnerable…

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Bird of the Week: Green Heron

The Green Heron is our featured #BirdoftheWeek.  With its squat posture, shaggy crest and glossy greenish back, this small heron is a sight to behold.  In April, the male Green Heron arrives to their northern breeding grounds and establishes nesting territory in a swampy patch or in a forest near water. A super cool fact about the Green Heron is…

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Bird of the Week: Eastern Screech Owl

At night at your Metroparks are active with many birds.  This week’s #BirdoftheWeek is the Eastern Screech Owl.  These small, stocky owls are most active at night.  They are not often seen but can be heard; listen for their distinct sound of a descending whinny and longer trill.  The Eastern Screech Owl has a large head and no neck and…

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Bird of the Week: Tree Swallow

As you drive through your Metroparks, look for the iridescent blue head and upper body and all white underside of the Tree Swallow.  They are often found perching on roadside nest boxes. Although these nest boxes are intended to provide nesting habitat for the Eastern Bluebird, species like the Tree Swallow use nest boxes as well. The boxes are usually…

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Bird of the Week: Mute Swan

The Mute swan is often seen gliding gracefully on the waters throughout your Metroparks.  When swimming, these large white birds hold their wings above their back and curve their neck into a S-shape. Contrary to their name, these swans do grunt and hiss. Mute swans were introduced to North America from Europe in the 1800’s.  Considered an invaisive species, Mute…

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Bird of the Week: American Woodcock

In early spring a small, round, shorebird begins to call. It’s a shorebird you will not find along a lake or river shore. The male American Woodcock chooses grassy clearings, such as fields and forest openings. At dawn and dust, you can venture to these special habitats to witness the aerial displays and calls, or “peents”, of these unique birds.…

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Your Summer Starts This Weekend. And Your Metroparks Are Ready.

Everyone knows Memorial Day Weekend is the unofficial kickoff of summer fun. Here at your Huron-Clinton Metroparks, we’re committed to helping the people of Southeast Michigan welcome summertime while staying safe and healthy. With a near-perfect weather forecast in store for us this holiday weekend, we’ll be excited to welcome you back to the Metroparks for fresh air, green trees,…

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Bird of the Week: Great Blue Heron

Stalking the shallow waters of the Metroparks, the Great Blue Heron is an expert fisher. Standing statue-like they will look for aquatic prey in the water, on a sunny day you may see one spread out their large wings to block the sun's reflection on the water. The s-shape and special vertebrae in their neck allow them to quickly strike…

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“Field of Bees”

When I mention "field of bees," what image comes to mind? Do you see a spring field bursting with clover and daisies, the hum of fuzzy, industrious honey bees filling the air? It's a beautiful image, but it's decidedly… new. All of these wonderful flowers and honeybees, though mostly naturalized now, came to North America in the last several hundred…

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Bird of the Week: Black-throated Green Warbler

May is an exciting time in Michigan. Harsh cold snaps have finally given way to sunnier days and lush green backdrops have replaced the emptiness left after months of cold snow. For birders though, the wonder of May lies in the fact that it is peak migration season for many songbirds. Among those is the Black-throated Green Warbler, a small…

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Bird of the Week: Prothonotary Warbler

Prothonotary Warbler, hard to pronounce, hard to find! The Pro-tho-notary or pro-thon-otary warbler is a bright yellow warbler with blueish-gray wings. It makes its home in wooded wetlands, with a strong preference for river flood plains. It competes for nesting cavities with house wrens and is a favorite host for cowbird eggs. Tough luck! If they can find a home,…

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Mothers’ Day for the Poopers

When I think of Mothers' Day, I'll admit that Canada geese aren't the first thing that pops to mind. Around my house they're affectionately known as "the Poopers." As in, when you spot Canada geese in the yard, you call out, "Hey, look, the Poopers are in the yard!" Later on, when you're running across the same yard to grab…

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Bird of the Week: Yellow-rumped Warbler

For birders in southeast Michigan, the beginning of May is an exciting time of the year as it’s the start of the great spring warbler migration in North America. 54 species are found throughout the continent, 35 of which have been spotted in one of your 13 Metroparks. One of the most common and widespread warbler species in the United…

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Bird of the Week: Yellow Warbler

One of the most common warblers in North America, the conspicuously bright Yellow Warbler begins its northward spring migration during the first weeks of April, which is earlier that most other warblers. Like many of the over 50 warbler species found in North America, the Yellow Warbler overwinters in South America and is known to fly nearly 800 miles across…

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Ode to the Skunk Cabbage

As through my window daylight spread and birds broke out in song, I forced my eyes to open and thought, I’ve been inside too long. I cannot go to work today, T.V. has no fascination, I cannot endure this solitude, I need some recreation. Alas! I cry where shall I go? What place has what I seek? It’s over there…

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Hello Fence

“Hello Fence, (hello)(hello) How’d things go for you today? Don’t you miss them Since they had to go home and stay? And I’ll bet you dread to spend Another lonely day with me But lonely fence, I’ll keep you company” I may not have the good looks and silvery voice of Faron Young, (ok, maybe not the most relevant reference…

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Singin’ About Survival

I can never decide which I like more in the spring, the dawn chorus of songbirds or the twilight symphony of frogs. We’ve been hearing the trill of American toads these last few days and the spring peepers, eastern chorus frogs and wood frogs are still going strong. And as beautiful as they sound to my ears, they must sound…

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Metroparks Golf Courses to Open with Strict Social Distancing Precautions in Place

Here at your Huron-Clinton Metroparks, we’re proud that so many people across Southeast Michigan have chosen to visit their favorite Metroparks these past weeks. Keeping everyone healthy – physically and mentally – is a critical part of the state’s recovery plan and our commitment to the region. The Governor’s orders now allow us to open Metroparks Golf Courses as the…

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Bird of the Week: Eastern Bluebird

One of the birds that many people look for to signal the return of spring is the Eastern Bluebird. However, many Bluebirds over-winter in our area, which gives them the first pick of the best nesting areas come spring. At one time Bluebird numbers were declining across North America, but with the help of conservation efforts such as habitat protection…

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In the Home of the Snake

When your job involves exploring a trail through the woods with a group of elementary school students, a day when you catch a snake is a good day. As a park Interpreter, sharing the right story or insight about trees or squirrels brings a gleam to the eyes or a giggle to the lips of many a kid. But find…

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A Violet by any Other Name

When you’re out for a walk and discover a flower that looks like a violet… and smells like a violet… and even tastes like a violet… but isn’t, well, violet-colored… can it still be a violet? Why, of course! We have seventy-seven species of violets growing in North America, with closer to 900 species across the globe. Most people recognize…

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Earth Day 2020 – the Essentials

My 7-year-old daughter and I crept beneath a stand of massive willow trees, trying to spot a fox squirrel that scampered to the other side of the trunk at our approach. As I scanned the deep-cleft bark for our fuzzy quarry, my daughter surprised me by asking, "Daddy, this is a big history time, isn’t it?" I stopped, squirrel momentarily…

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Bird of the Week: Wood Duck

Once referred to as a "glowing gem" by Henry David Thoreau, the male wood duck is a most magnificent sight, and each wood duck's life starts with an equally magnificent journey. Female wood ducks nest in tree cavities about 25 feet high. She will lay 6-15 eggs, though she may have to raise up to 30 hatchlings due to intraspecific…

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Bird of the Week: Red-winged Blackbird

One of the most common (and loudest) visitors at Kensington is the red-winged blackbird. Found all across the country in wet and marshy habitats, this migrator returns toward the end of February, beating out the Robin as the true harbinger of spring. Listen for the distinctive "look-at-me" call of the male red-winged blackbird as he displays his bright red shoulder…

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Metroparks Implementing Plan for Temporary Closures as Needed to Control Overcrowding

Here at your Huron-Clinton Metroparks, we’re proud that so many people across Southeast Michigan have chosen to visit their favorite Metroparks these past weeks. Keeping everyone healthy – physically and mentally – is a critical part of the state’s recovery plan and our commitment to the region. All 13 Metroparks will continue to stay open, in accordance with Governor Whitmer’s…

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The Bald Eagle at the Bird Feeder

If you're stuck at home like most of us, you might find yourself absentmindedly staring out the window and gazing at the birds. And if you're like me, you might make an amazing discovery: with its stunning white head, is that a bald eagle at the bird feeder? Nope, just the genetic oddball that is a leucistic grackle. Which, in…

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Bird of the Week: Osprey

As we transition from winter to spring, many migratory birds are flying north to call Michigan their summer home, among these birds are Osprey. During the last two weeks of March, telephone poles, cell phone towers and light posts will begin to serve as perching spots for these unique birds of prey (right). Travelling from as far as South America,…

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Bird of the Week: Northern Flicker

The Northern Flicker is only one of eight species of woodpecker in Michigan, and its looks and behavior are unique among the rest. From the tip of the beak to the tip of the tail, the Northern Flicker measures at 12 inches, falling second behind the Pileated Woodpecker, who reaches a length of 19 inches! Their light brown bodies are…

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The “Sittable” Forest

Now that the snow's gone and we've been teased with 50-degree weather, do you find yourself hungering for something green? Something lush? Something… alive? We'll have spring buds-a-bursting any day now, but… why wait? Find the green now! Visit Oakwoods Metropark, saunter down our Longbark Trail and enjoy what I like to call our "Sittable Forest." This sittable forest isn't…

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When the Planets Align

“Are there normally stars there?” I wondered aloud. Have you ever caught something weird out of the corner of your eye and wondered, what did I just see? Even stranger, have you ever stared right at something and still wondered, what the heck am I looking at? This happened to me at 5:37 a.m. on Thursday, March 26, 2020, while…

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Your Metroparks: The Best Place For Social Distancing.

“Social distancing” has become the best policy for fighting the spread of coronavirus. But that doesn’t mean you have to lock yourself in your homes for the duration of the outbreak. Instead, one of your best options is making your way to the Huron-Clinton Metroparks. After all, the experts tell us it’s okay to be outdoors while social distancing. And…

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Metroparks Covid-19 Precautions

Here at your Huron-Clinton Metroparks, we’re proud that so many people across Southeast Michigan have chosen to visit their favorite Metroparks these past weeks. Keeping everyone healthy – physically and mentally – is a critical part of the state’s recovery plan and our commitment to the region. First and foremost, the Governor’s orders allow us to keep all 13 Metroparks…

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Syrup Season: The First Sign of Spring

By Jessica Getschman, CIG The month of March is upon us, and everyone will soon be keeping an eye out for the first robin and green spikes of daffodils poking through newly exposed soil (unless you’re a park interpreter – we’re watching for skunk cabbage and red-winged black birds, but they’re somewhat of a different story).   Even before these first…

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Agriculture in Winter

Patrick Bigelow, Kensington Metropark Farm Center Supervisor The first snows of winter have now blanketed farm fields and pastures of southeast Michigan. With fields gleaming white, what do farmers do until spring? While it is true that winter is a slower season for agriculture, it is far from vacation time for farmers. For farms with livestock, winter is business as…

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Free Fields Trips Provided by Your Metroparks

Adventure, explore, education and free go perfectly together at your Metroparks. Our Interpretive Services Department provides opportunities for schools to expand their classroom learning through field trips. Classes can come out to a Metropark for various adventures to explore different and unique ways to learn new things and best of all they can do it for free. In 2020, we…

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Your Metroparks Volunteer Community

Did you know your Metroparks offer opportunities to volunteer throughout the year? Volunteers support the parks on a wide variety of initiatives from event support and trail maintenance to invasive species removal and seed collection. In 2019, nearly 5,000 volunteers donated over 27,000 of hours of time and talent. Because of dedicated and generous individuals, families, and companies, several large…

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Metroparks partners with REI to encourage stewardship and recreation in the outdoors

Skip the stores on Black Friday and instead #OptOutside BRIGHTON, Mich. — The Huron-Clinton Metroparks is proud to partner with REI Co-Op as a destination to #optoutside on Friday, November 29. Five years ago, REI made a made the decision to close its doors on Black Friday and instead encourage employees, members and the public to spend the day with…

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Metroparks Launches Important Initiative for Giving Tuesday Fundraising Campaign

All funds raised will support the new accessible playground at Kensington Metropark Maple Beach DETROIT, Mich. – Giving Tuesday is a global day of giving, and the Huron-Clinton Metroparks looks to focus their fundraising efforts for the Kensington Metropark Maple Beach Playground. The play area is utilizing universal design standards to be accessible to visitors of all ages and abilities. Metroparks…

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Owls at Your Metroparks: Hoo Do You See

Kevin Arnold, Southern District Interpretive Services Supervisor As the deep “hoot” of the male Great Horned Owl reverberated through the woods, the crowd caught their first glimpse of the magnificent bird sitting high atop the large Bur Oak. His form, silhouetted against the evening sky, was surprisingly easy to see in the bright cast of moonlight from the full moon.…

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Harvesting Native Seeds

Leah Harrison, Natural Resources Volunteer Coordinator As everything else winds down for Fall, many plants are hard at work producing seeds to grow the next generation. During this time, the Metroparks Natural Resources Department, along with the help of volunteers, begin to harvest seed from native plants for use in degraded areas. To restore these degraded areas and expand healthy…

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Metroparks Offer Scholarship Opportunities for Local Schools

Get Out and Learn program supports schools with hands-on field trips to local Metroparks  The Huron-Clinton Metroparks is now accepting scholarship applications from local schools for its Get Out and Learn program to support field trips that must be completed by Dec. 31, 2019. The program gives teachers and students the opportunity to participate in engaging, nature-connected field trips to…

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Ford Motor Company Grant and Volunteers Build New Outdoor Amphitheater at Kensington Metropark

If you have visited Kensington Metropark Nature Center recently you might have noticed a new outside addition on the northeast side. The Metroparks received a grant from Ford Motor Company Fund for $7,500 to create an outdoor amphitheater at the nature center. With the help of 18 volunteers from Ford, and 108 volunteer hours later, the Kensington Metropark Nature Center…

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Fall Harvest

Jason Smith, Wolcott Mill Metropark, Supervising Interpreter Farm and Historic Center The days are getting noticeable shorter, the average temperatures are dropping by the week, and the leaves on the trees are fewer and fewer with each passing day. Many of us are winding down from our summer adventures and preparing ourselves for the upcoming winter ahead, but farmers throughout…

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Metroparks Offer Unique Opportunities to Celebrate Michigan Trails Week

Explore Southeast Michigan with hike-bike, fitness, rustic and water trails Michigan Trails Week was held September 22 through September 29 and your Metroparks provided unique opportunities to get out and explore, but it doesn't have to stop after that week is over! The Huron-Clinton Metroparks have several trails throughout southeast Michigan, including hiking, biking, equestrian and even water trails that…

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Fall in for some family fun at your Metroparks

When the temperatures begin to cool and the leaves begin to change, it’s time to create your fall bucket list. “Fall is an exciting and special season around the Metroparks,” said Amy McMillan, Director at the Huron-Clinton Metropolitan Authority. “It’s a great time to visit the parks and experience the fun activities they have to offer, not to mention the…

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Fall Bird Migration

By Stephanie Kozak, Interpreter As the days grow shorter and the weather cools down, excitement for fall festivities grows and visions of cider, donuts, pumpkins, and hayrides start dancing in our heads. When the months get colder around the Metroparks, the human visitors start to bundle up, but the animals that call the Metropark habitats home have different plans. As…

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Magical Monarchs

Sara Scussell, Chris Becher and Julie Champion - Metroparks Interpreters  There’s a delicate insect living right here in Michigan that makes an incredible 2,500 mile journey every year just to survive. This species at risk of  becoming an “endangered species” but quietly pollinates our native plants every year. Do you know what it is? It’s the Monarch Butterfly! The beloved…

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3rd Annual Charity Golf Classic to Support School Field Trips to Take Place at Kensington Metropark

The Huron-Clinton Metroparks Foundation is proud to announce its 3rd Annual Charity Golf Classic, slated for Friday, September 27th at Kensington Metropark golf course. The foursome golf scramble will begin with a shotgun start at 9:30 a.m. and end with an awards reception, featuring keynote speaker and Detroit Tiger legend, Willie Horton. Trevor Thompson, reporter/host of Fox Sports Net Detroit…

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Accessibility Improvements across Huron-Clinton Metroparks Create New Opportunities for Local Community

Improvements empowered by grant partners include trail redevelopment and new hand-cycle BRIGHTON, Mich. — The Huron-Clinton Metroparks Planning and Development Department is making parks more accessible, creating new recreation opportunities, and expanding trail connectivity to serve everyone in the local community. Multiple grants support these ongoing initiatives. “A main focus for us is making sure the parks serve everyone,” said…

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Southeast Michigan’s Oldest Known Osprey, C09, Turns 20

Southeast Michigan’s osprey population was once in doubt. Today 50-60 nests are in the region. MILFORD, Mich. – More than 20 years ago, the future of ospreys was unclear in southeast Michigan, but a lot has changed in that time. This year, southeast Michigan’s oldest known osprey, C09, turns 20. C09 was originally brought to Kensington Metropark as a chick…

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Statement on behalf of the Huron-Clinton Metroparks Police Department – Metroparks Complete Investigation into Lake Erie Metropark Incident

The Huron-Clinton Metropolitan Authority today released the following information and statements from Chief of Police Michael Reese and Director Amy McMillan following a thorough internal investigation of a recent alleged discrimination incident at Lake Erie Metropark on June 30: Michael Reese, Huron-Clinton Metropolitan Authority Chief of Police: “We moved swiftly to ensure a thorough and timely internal investigation, following up…

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Statement on behalf of Huron Clinton Metroparks re: Lake St. Clair Metropark Beach

As with anything related to the park experience, this is an issue we take very seriously at the Metroparks. The cited report misrepresents the facts. The Macomb County Department of Health performs regular, rigorous testing per the Environmental Protection Agency’s approved method to ensure our beaches are safe for visitors. Throughout 2018, the Lake St. Clair Metropark Beach was closed…

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A Greener Metroparks

This year your Huron-Clinton Metroparks have committed to working harder towards “going green.” As stewards of the environment, we know it is our duty to create a more sustainable future. Multiple projects are underway to reduce waste, increase recycling and grow the Metroparks green footprint. Projects are as small as fishing line recycling bins at our fishing sites or larger…

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Lake Erie Metropark Shoreline Project to Enhance Park for Wildlife and Visitors

Large grant project will improve natural habitats and create new experiences for visitors The Huron-Clinton Metroparks will soon start work on a new collaborative restoration project at Lake Erie Metropark to improve shoreline and coastal wetland in the park. The project is possible thanks to a $1.5 million grant from The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) through the Great…

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Remembering Apollo 11, 50 Years Ago this Month

Mike Broughton, Kensington Nature Center Interpreter It was late in the day July 20, 1969, and a little eight-year-old boy was sitting on his living room floor, eagerly waiting for astronauts to land on the moon. Apollo 11, NASA’s mission to land the first person on the moon had just launched on July 16. That little boy was absolutely fascinated…

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New Grants to Improve Access and Accessibility

The Metroparks Planning Department has been working diligently to expand trail connectivity throughout the parks while trying to improve accessibility of the trails. Several grants received in May and June will aid in this effort.
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Invasive Species are Fought by Volunteers

The Natural Resources Department hosts several volunteer days in the spring to target these early invasives. While there are many invasive plants on Metroparks property, we target garlic mustard and dame’s rocket in the spring because of their short life cycle. Both plants are biennials, growing a rosette the first year and blooming and going to seed the second. Garlic mustard starts growing early in the spring, flowering in early May and going to seed by mid-June.
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Give Me Spots on My Apples

Spring is the time for wildflowers in Michigan, but it is also a time for spring invasives. Invasive plant species are one of the first plants you will see in the spring, popping up and growing leaves right as our native plants are just starting to get going. The worst spring offenders are garlic mustard  and dame’s rocket. “National Pollinator Week is a time to celebrate pollinators and spread the word about what you can do to protect them,” according to pollinator.org.
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Metroparks Foundation Raises Funds for Field Trips

The Metroparks Foundation is working to help the Metroparks fund their “Get Out and Learn” program, providing free field trips to qualifying schools in southeast Michigan. This year the foundation is hosting two events to help raise funds for the program at Kensington Metropark.  On May 11, the first ever Celebrate Moms Fashion Show took place.  Guests enjoyed brunch at Baker’s, special guest speakers, a silent auction and a fashion show that featured community members and Metroparks staff and families.
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Creating Young Environmental Stewards Thanks to a Grant from Hanover Insurance Group

The fifth-grade students at Natalie Kreeger Elementary School in Fowlerville were the recipients of a special collaborative project with Metroparks Interpretive Services over this past school year. This program called Inspiring STEM Success, was funded with a $5,000 grant to the Metroparks Foundation from the Hanover Insurance Group with the goal of helping the students increase their science proficiency. The entire fifth grade class of over 200 students participated in the project.
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Summer Water Recreation

The Huron River Watershed Council (HRWC), a long-time partner of the Huron-Clinton Metroparks, has worked hard to share information about PFAS with the public. As summer approaches and temperatures rise, water activities will increase and you may have questions about water recreation. HRWC answered many questions in their recent newsletter article, “PFAS and Recreation on the Huron River.” To read the article click here
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The Albino Deer at Kensington Metropark had Twin Fawns

As spring emerges at the Huron-Clinton Metroparks, so do the baby animals. Be on the lookout for young turtles crossing the road, birds fledging from the nest, and fawns being hidden in the grass by their mothers. We discovered yesterday that the albino deer that calls Kensington Metropark home gave birth to a set of twin fawns. 
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Your Metroparks will be Scanning Park Passes this Year

If you’re a regular Metroparks visitor, you may have noticed that your annual pass this year has a barcode, and you may be wondering why. Here at your Huron-Clinton Metroparks, we’re committed to serving the community we call home: Southeast Michigan. That’s why we’ve implemented a new system to help us better understand who’s using the Metroparks and how we can better meet the needs of everyone across the community.
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Metroparks Volunteers Honored at mParks Awards

The Metroparks are excited to announce that three of our regular volunteer groups were awarded mParks Volunteer Service Awards at a ceremony last night. Our nominees and staff traveled to Lansing where mParks awarded Toni Spears, CRAMBA and Beyond the Seed Greenhouse & Gardens for their committed service to the Metroparks.
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Shelden Trails Project Update

The Shelden Trail Development Project has great momentum and we are excited to share that at the December meeting of the Huron-Clinton Metroparks Board of Commissioners, they approved the concept design provided by Applied Trail Research (ATR).
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B2B Trail Groundbreaking

In conjunction with the Huron Waterloo Pathways Initiative, Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation, Huron River Watershed Council and the Department of Natural Resources, the Huron-Clinton Metroparks was excited to host the groundbreaking ceremony of the new segment of the Border- to-Border Trail (B2B) on Saturday, February 9 at Dexter-Huron Metropark.
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Why Prescribed Burns

The first signs of spring seem to be different for every person you talk to. Some refer to the birds returning to the area and their sweet songs being heard again. Some refer to budding trees and the first green blades of grass. Some refer to the peeper frogs chirping at night. However, if you’re part of the Huron-Clinton Metroparks Natural Resources department, fire often marks the start of spring.
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The Sound of Cranes

As the year progresses from winter into spring, the mood within the Metroparks moves from the quiet calm of snowy days to the hustle and bustle of the natural world’s New Year.  Populations of birds that stayed all winter begin singing at dawn each day, and their chorus is joined by crowds of spring migrants and newly active frogs and toads.  From the low cooing of mourning doves and tinkling call of spring peeper frogs to the boisterous honking of Canada geese, it seems everyone has something to sing about- and they do.  These songs are all sung with the single purpose of reproduction.
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Jogging for Jakey Memorial Swings

With their family home in Brighton, Brenden and his family would frequently take Jakey to Kensington Metropark to enjoy the trails and nature in the park. Brenden and Courtney determined that an accessible swing-set at Kensington Metropark, would provide many benefits to the community, while celebrating the life of Brenden’s brother. Working with the Metroparks Foundation, a location was selected within the park and a plan formulated to raise funds for the swings. Together, Brenden and Courtney organized a "Jogging for Jakey" 5K Run/Walk at Kensington, raising over $3,700 towards the swings. Several local organizations participated in the event through sponsorships and by contributing prizes.
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Shelden Trails Development Project: Trail Building Workshop and Training with Applied Trails Research

The workshop and training is open to all skill levels; new volunteers and seasoned ones are welcome. The morning session will be indoors, focusing on trail sustainability fundamentals. In the afternoon, we will shift to the outdoors where volunteers will participate in additional hands-on training on the Stony Creek trail system. We will be pairing volunteers with what matches their skills and abilities.
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Impact100 Oakland County Awards $90,000 Grant to Huron-Clinton Metroparks Foundation for “Seeding a Green Future” program at Kensington Farm Center

The Huron-Clinton Metroparks Foundation is pleased to announce the largest grant in the history of the foundation for $90,000 from Impact100 Oakland County for the “Seeding a Green Future” program at the Kensington Farm Center at Kensington Metropark in Milford, MI. This program will provide a mentoring initiative that will engage students and teachers in sustainable agriculture, STEM education and critical thinking skills to inspire lifelong learning and success in the natural environment. 
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Stony Creek Metropark Shelden Trails Update #1

We are excited to announce the concept design of the Shelden Trails Development Project was approved at the December 13th Board of Commissioner meeting. Presented by Jeremy Wimpey of Applied Trails Research, the proposed concept design was based on a comprehensive assessment of the current trail system along with input from stakeholder partners as well as public comment.
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Pumpkins!

“Cucurbita pepo” perhaps one of the most recognizable yet one of the more misunderstood fruits of our culture. We commonly refer to them as pumpkins, and most people do little more with them than make the annual trek out to the pumpkin patch to carve and decorate them for our porches for Halloween.
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Planning and Development Department Updates

With the approval of the Dexter-Huron and Delhi Metroparks Master Plan in November 2018 by the Metroparks Board of Commissioners, the Planning and Development Department is proud to announce that the three-year process for developing master plans for all 13 Metroparks is complete.
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2018 was a Busy Year for the Natural Resources Department

The Natural Resources Department (NRD) at the Huron-Clinton Metroparks kept busy in 2018 working to restore and protect natural areas in all 13 Metroparks. Work is conducted year-round with the help of contractors, volunteers, government and non-profit partners to protect diverse ecosystems and meet restoration goals.
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Ford Fund supports Hawk and Owl Mew project at Oakwoods Metropark!

The Huron-Clinton Metroparks was awarded a $7,500 grant from the Ford Motor Company Fund to construct three new raptor (hawk/owl) enclosures to replace the two existing mews and offer room for an additional injured, non-releasable bird at Oakwoods Metropark Nature Center. During the month of November, volunteers from Ford Motor Company worked alongside Metroparks staff to construct the three updated, replacement mews in a newly designed space.
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Ford Fund supports Hawk & Owl Mew project

The Huron-Clinton Metroparks was awarded a $7500 grant from the Ford Motor Company Fund to construct three new raptor (hawk/owl) enclosures to replaces the two existing mews and offer room for an additional injured, non-releasable bird at Oakwoods Metropark Nature Center.
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Planning Department Updates

Based on public input gathered during the Stony Creek Metropark Master Plan, the Planning Department is overseeing the consultants who will create a  conceptual design for improving the Shelden and Trolley trails.
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Natural Resources Updates

This fall, as the weather cools off and the leaves begin to change color, the Metroparks Natural Resources Department is staying busy with multiple project.  We are continuing to remove invasive species from high-quality habitats, in preparation for our work next year.  We are also beginning to treat Phragmites, the giant invasive reed, as this plant species begins to move its energy out of the roots and into its seed head, making the roots easier to kill.  
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CRAMBA Supports the Shelden Trails

For mountain bike riders in Southeast Michigan, one of the classic places to ride -- a favorite where many of us first learned to ride off road -- are the trails at Stony Creek Metropark. Since its inception, CRAMBA -- the Clinton River Area Mountain Bike Association -- has worked hand in hand with the Metroparks to maintain and enhance these trails, keeping them fun for everyone from mountain bikers to hikers, from trail runners to families out for a stroll.
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The Detroit River Hawk Watch at Lake Erie Metropark

For over 35 years the Detroit River Hawk Watch has been conducted in one form or another at Lake Erie Metropark; and the boat launch in the park has been the primary site for over 20 of those years. Today, through the efforts of such organizations as the Detroit River Wildlife Refuge, the Detroit River Wildlife Refuge Alliance, the Hawk Migration Association of North America, The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Huron-Clinton Metroparks the migration of raptors over the Detroit River Hawk Watch site is monitored. The information gathered is used to study the long-term trends of our raptor species; and to educate the public through programs like those presented at the annual Hawkfest celebration at the Lake Erie Metropark Marshlands Museum.
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Lake St. Clair Metropark Stormwater Maintenance

Dear Patrons: As part of our on-going water quality efforts, the Huron-Clinton Metroparks will be inspecting and assessing it’s green infrastructure at Lake St. Clair Metropark.  Specifically, the Metroparks as part of an agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) must conduct regular inspections and maintenance of green storm water infrastructure.  During this time, you will see work relating to maintaining, inspecting and assessing the condition of the stormwater system.  When work is complete the vegetation along the bioswales will be allowed to regrow and swales will be returned to their pre-inspection condition.  Thank you for your patience as we work through this project.
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Best Hiking Trails in Metro Detroit by Channel 7 WXYZ Detroit

Our parks topped the list! Thank you to everyone who voted for making Kensington Metropark #1 and Stony Creek Metropark #2 on Thursday's Top 7 list of the “Best hiking trails in metro Detroit!”
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History of the Shelden Trails

Elizabeth Shelden made an agreement with the Huron-Clinton Metropolitan Authority in 1959 to buy her property for $377,000 upon her death, although she both sold and donated some areas of land before this time.
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Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan to support Shelden Trails Development Project

The Huron-Clinton Metroparks is excited to announce that the Shelden Trail Development Project at Stony Creek Metropark is now underway.  The Metroparks will immediately begin the process to extend and develop the popular trail system to create a premier, natural surface, multi-use trail system. 
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Metroparks Planning Department Updates

With summer in full swing the Metroparks Planning Department is busy assessing and improving your parks.  Currently, construction of an additional nine holes is underway at the Kensington Metropark Black Locust Disc Golf Course. The course is being reconfigured as an 18-hole, 5,801 yard North Course and 18-hole, 7,277 South Course. The anticipated opening date of the new holes on the South Course is July 9.
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Invasive Species

Spring is almost gone and summer is right around the corner.  For the Natural Resources Department that means endless days of controlling invasive species.  But what is an invasive species?  And why is the Metroparks so concerned about them?
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Nocturnal Frequencies

Whether overlooking a prairie, kayaking on a lake, or taking a stroll on one of our nature trails, there is not a sight more warm and inviting than a sunset in the Metroparks.  Sunsets allow us to pause and appreciate nature for a lasting moment.  But, after that moment has passed, we usually take it as a cue to pack up and head out.  Yet, here at the Metroparks we are still open after the sun has gone down—until 10 p.m.
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A Hidden History: The Labadie Homestead of Kensington Metropark

The Metroparks hike/bike paths provide access to beautiful scenery and often lead to fine natural vistas.  So why don’t we call these “nature” trails?  Simply, in the eyes of wildlife, some areas have more nature than others.
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Nature Trails at Your Metroparks

The Metroparks hike/bike paths provide access to beautiful scenery and often lead to fine natural vistas.  So why don’t we call these “nature” trails?  Simply, in the eyes of wildlife, some areas have more nature than others.
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Remember, Never Feed the Animals

The Metroparks offers some unique opportunities to see wildlife! Viewing them up close can be a thrilling experience so you may be tempted to draw them as close as possible to yourself with food. But it is important to refrain from doing so. The top four reasons to resist that urge and keeping your distance are...
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Lake St. Clair Metropark Goose Management FAQ

The Metroparks has had a Canada Goose management program going back over a decade. Goose populations within our park have increased steadily, negatively impacting the water quality at the park and the experience of park patrons. Our Canada Goose management program is an effort to address both of these issues by discouraging geese from living in the recreation areas of the park, and encouraging geese to move to more natural areas both inside and outside of the park.
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Our Metroparks have wildlife!

This is great news for anyone who appreciates wildlife and the opportunity to view them.  It means that when you are quietly walking the trails, if you keep your distance, you will probably be witness to a variety of wild behavior. Most of the time, this is how it works. But occasionally, encounters with wildlife can be… wild.
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Nesting Great Horned Owls at Lake St. Clair Metropark

The large and beautiful Great Horned Owl is one of the most common and widespread owls in North America. You can see or hear them in most of the 13 Huron-Clinton Metroparks.  However, have you heard the story of the Great Horned Owls in the bucket at Lake St. Clair Metropark?
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Shelden Trails Development Project

In support of the Shelden Trails project at Stony Creek Metropark, Clinton River Area Mountain Biking Association (CRAMBA) presented the Metroparks Foundation a check for $3,000 at its annual Ay CRAMBA It's Cold Out! Fat Tire Bike/Snow Bike Festival.
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Metroparks Planning Department Updates

On March 14, the Planning Department took part in a Disc Golf Planning Workshop hosted by Oakland County Parks and Recreation in partnership with the Metroparks and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR). The workshop was a public forum to share information about disc golf in Oakland County and to gather feedback from disc golfers and others about experiences and needs
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Winter Nature Notes: Maple Sugaring

To me, maple sugaring is the first sweet taste of spring. Weeks before the snow melts and the first leaf buds, maple trees begin to shake off their winter dormancy. As winter ends, the cycle of night time freezing temperatures and daytime thawing temperatures triggers the maple’s sap to begin flowing.
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Winter Fitness at your Metroparks

It’s a new year, and a great time to set personal goals, eat healthier, and plan a workout routine. Fitness is especially important! Looking for a way to get moving? Discover activities and resources for a great winter workout at your Metroparks.
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Wonder from Under the Pond

One of the most distinguishable attractions of the Environmental Discovery Center at Indian Springs Metropark is the underwater pond dome. This acrylic dome allows visitors the opportunity to view our human-made Discovery Pond from down below.
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Metroparks Planning Department

Since 2016, Huron-Clinton Metroparks planners have been working diligently to develop specific 10-year master plans for each park. Please visit the Planning Department page of the Metroparks website to answer a short survey and get details on upcoming public meetings!
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SEA LIFE Michigan Protecting Local Endangered Species, The Lake Sturgeon

Image by SEA LIFE Michigan Aquarium SEA LIFE Michigan Aquarium partnered with the Department of Natural Resources to help conserve local creatures. Lake sturgeon are hatched in the spring at the Black Lake fish hatchery right here in Michigan. SEA LIFE Michigan then receives the young lake sturgeon. Over winter, they grow and in the spring they are released back into…

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Winter Nature Notes: Snow

The Metroparks is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, continuing our mission of providing excellent recreational and educational opportunities while serving as stewards of its natural resources.
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Lake St. Clair Metropark Playground Now Open!

Our new playground is OPEN! Head out to the park to check out our newest addition. We’re so excited for you to experience our fantastic new playground features. Come see us soon to get out and play!
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Invasive Shrubs And Why We Control Them

The Metroparks is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, continuing our mission of providing excellent recreational and educational opportunities while serving as stewards of its natural resources.
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A Prairie Invitation

There is a bench in the prairie at Indian Springs Metropark, where if you sit sideways facing east, you can see hills of green in every direction, no roads and no buildings. These hills laid down by glaciers, some 17,000 years ago, are dotted with groups of oak trees and carpeted with an array of native prairie plants.
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E-Mail Notifications & Reminders

Subscribe to receive email reminders about happenings in the Metroparks.

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The Symphony of Spring

Take a moment and think about your favorite song. Maybe it’s a classical piece. Or perhaps it’s a bit more modern. In any case, as you listen, you can certainly gain an appreciation for each instrument. Maybe it is significant, and heard throughout the song, or maybe it is so subtle that it’s almost overlooked.
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Metroparks Takes Important Step to Conserve Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake

Metroparks Takes Important Step to Conserve Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake Ryan Colliton, HCMA Stewardship Coordinator In September of 2016, the eastern massasauga rattlesnake was listed as threatened by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. As such, the eastern massasauga rattlesnake will receive special protections to avoid negative impacts on the species. The State of Michigan is the last stronghold for this…

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Importance of Leisure & Recreation for Health

The holidays are over. The days are getting longer. New year’s resolutions are in full swing. Statistics show that the top two changes Americans want to make, in 2017, are to improve their overall health and improve their overall lives.
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