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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 work within Rouge Park – the city’s largest park. The partnership would work to promote native species and biodiversity by removing invasive species, performing prairie restoration and improving the trails within the prairie area of the park.

The partnership will also work to improve trails within the area so that park users have easier access to enjoy these natural areas, close to home.  This is the perfect time to begin working together, as the Rouge Park is building towards its 100-year anniversary celebration in 2023. Volunteer opportunities will exist for visitors to get involved and assist in the efforts of preserving these natural spaces for all to enjoy.

The project will also include prescribed burn as a prairie management tactic. The partnership is already off to a strong start with REI awarding a $10,000 grant for the partnership to work on infrastructure needs such as garbage cans and benches at trailheads, wayfinding signs and volunteer efforts utilizing REI members and public volunteers.

“We’re excited to team up with Detroit Parks and Recreation to share resources and support stewardship efforts in our region,” says Amy McMillan Director for the Huron-Clinton Metroparks. “Our Natural Resources Department has experienced staff in prescribed burns, along with the equipment to make it possible. We know that many of the Metroparks are a fair distance away from those living in the city, and this was one way we could bring a little bit of the Metroparks closer to the city – the partnership just makes sense.”

“Detroit Parks and Recreation is enthusiastic about partnering with Metroparks, combining their natural resource management expertise with our commitment to improve our natural spaces in Detroit parks,” said Meagan Elliott, City of Detroit Chief Parks Planner. “In the past few years we have focused on improving the active play and sports amenities in our much-loved Rouge Park, and the partnership with Metroparks will help to ensure that natural spaces in Rouge Park look good and serve our residents.”

Full details of the MOU can be read at https://www.metroparks.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/00_March-Packet.pdf?x91894 on pages 86 – 99.

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