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It takes a lot of work to make the Metroparks work. Learn more about the ways our Planning & Development team helps us fulfill our mission.


Here at the Metroparks, our Planning & Development Department plays a critical role in making sure the improvements and enhancements we bring to our 13 properties are informed by relevant, accurate and useful data and analysis. 

The Planning & Development team focuses on creating and assessing ways to expand and strengthen our infrastructure and other assets, guided by our three main mission pillars of recreation, education and the stewardship of our natural resources. 

Our staff has a deep academic and applied experience in a diversity of related disciplines, including urban and regional planning, landscape architecture, grant writing and volunteer management. They’re responsible for leading and coordinating initiatives in: 

Community Recreation Plan 2018-2022

The 2018-2022 Community Recreation Plan was developed and approved by the Board of Commissioners in 2017. The plan was amended and approved by the Board of Commissioners by resolution on January 9, 2020. The structure and contents of this planning document are specified by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, and the Metroparks updates the plan every 5 years. The next planning process will be facilitated in 2022.

Park Access Plan

This plan identifies opportunities to connect the Metroparks to public transportation and nonmotorized transportation systems to increase access for all residents of the region.

Park Master Plans

The original park master plans were completed and approved by the Board of Commissioners between 2016 and 2018. These plans include assessments of conditions existing at the time of the plan development, a summary of public input, needs and opportunities, and action items for a 10-year planning horizon.

Stormwater Management Plan

Approved by the Board of Commissioners in September 2019, the Metroparks Stormwater Management Plan (developed by OHM Advisors) identifies project recommendations regarding stormwater conveyance structure maintenance and replacement, streambank restoration, shoreline protection, and green infrastructure projects throughout the system. The plan is divided into chapters by park.

Trail Connection Feasibility Study in Livingston County

The Trail Connection Feasibility Study was funded by Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Legacy Fund through the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan in order to determine a final safe and efficient non-motorized connection between four large regional parks: Brighton Recreation Area, Huron Meadows Metropark, Island Lake Recreation Area, and Kensington Metropark.

Two mountain bikers enjoy the trails at Stony Creek Metropark.


Throughout the year our planning and development team has a variety of opportunities for visitors and community members to provide input on projects and plans. Check back here periodically for how YOU can help guide future projects at the Metroparks.

Public Input on Proposed Grant Projects at Three Metroparks

Each year, your Metroparks seek grant funding to complement our annual budget, improve facilities, create or improve recreation opportunities and increase accessibility providing opportunities for everyone to enjoy the parks. This year, we are submitting three projects to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Recreation Grants program. If awarded, these grant funds will allow the parks to improve accessibility to water and trail recreation.

Public support and input help guide the final design of park improvements and result in stronger applications, so the Metroparks want to hear from the community.

The three proposed projects are at Delhi, Lake St. Clair and Stony Creek Metroparks. Each project will increase accessibility using the principles of universal design. The proposed projects are:

Delhi Metropark

Delhi Metropark improvements to accessibility along the Huron River by adding an accessible kayak launch/take out and associated amenities, including:

  • Expansion of sandy take-out area
  • New accessible floating kayak launch/take-out with solar edge lights
  • Livery facility accessibility improvements
  • New accessible vault toilet
  • Three accessible picnic tables and a bench with easy access to the adjacent trails
  • Two accessible bike hoops
  • Two dog waste stations
  • Relocation of water spigot for accessible use
  • Improved concrete walkway to Huron River
  • Native trees (10 total) and  vegetated bioswale
  • East Delhi accessible parking lot improvements

We’ve prepared conceptual site plans you can review here.

We’ve prepared photo stories of the proposed project you can review here.

Lake St. Clair Metropark

Lake St. Clair Metropark improvements to accessibility along a section of the West Boardwalk and associated amenities, including:

  • Boardwalk renovation and improvements
  • Adding paved walkways to connect picnic areas to main boardwalk
  • Adding multiple accessible picnic tables and grills to existing shelter and picnic areas
  • Removing stairs and concrete ramps that don’t currently meet ADA standards
  • Adding accessible rec mat over the sand and into the water to allow greater accessibility at the beach
  • Relocating existing amenities such as trash cans and pet waste stations to accessible areas
  • Addition of native plantings, site furnishings, an accessible viewing scope, and interpretive signs

We’ve prepared conceptual site plans you can review here.

We’ve prepared photo stories of the proposed project you can review here.

Stony Creek Metropark

Stony Creek Metropark improvements to accessibility along the Reflection Nature Trail and associated amenities, including:

  • Replacement of three bridges
  • Replacement of the existing dock with shoreline viewing platform
  • Accessible push button doors at the Nature Center main entrance
  • Relocation of benches to accessible areas
  • Various landscaping features including new native plantings and accessible prairie development
  • Modification to existing trail for accessible slopes and cross-slopes

We’ve prepared conceptual site plans you can review here.

We’ve prepared photo stories of the proposed project you can review here.


Virtual Public Meetings

To get more information and provide feedback you can attend a virtual public hearing on Thursday, March 10, 2022 at 1 p.m. prior to the Board of Commissioners meeting. Our online survey and virtual public meetings have already been completed and the public hearing is the last opportunity to provide feedback.

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