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Current Projects & Improvements

Shelden Trails Redevelopment 

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 system in southeast Michigan. 

The Shelden Trails were not originally designed as a multi-use trail system. Today they are best known for their mountain biking experience but are used year-round as hiking and skiing trails as well.  A large portion of the current trails are composed of the historic Shelden estate, gifted to Stony Creek Metropark by Elizabeth Shelden in 1981 for public recreation and developed mainly from old roads, footpaths, and trails.  The roads and footpaths ran among the estate’s nine buildings (no longer in existence). 

Although this land is now protected as part of Stony Creek Metropark, its previous lack of purposeful design has led to off-trail paths being developed, a lack of safety for users, and trails running too close to sensitive habitat areas. Renovations to the trail system will be specifically designed to help protect and preserve this area and its biodiversity, making it more sustainable and discouraging users from leaving the trails and creating “bandit” trails that encroach on critical habitat. Taking an ecological approach to trail redesign and reconstruction will serve to protect the earth’s beauty and bounty.

The Metroparks have been working closely with an advisory group of trail users and long-time mountain biking partner organization, Clinton River Area Mountain Bike Association (CRAMBA), to provide input on the wants and needs of regular users of the trails. The outcome has been a collaborative development process that has highlighted problem areas of the existing trails so that creative solutions can be found, and a premier trail experience can be developed.

In mid-June the first phase of construction began.  Included in this first phase are brand new trail loops A and B, and the Northern Connector segment as identified in the field design plan for the trail system developed by Applied Trails Research in May 2019. Loop A consists of the Metroparks’ first natural surface handcycle accessible trail, and users will be able to rent a handcycle from the park to experience it for themselves (thanks to a grant from the League of Michigan Bicyclists). Also included is developing an improved signage and wayfinding system to implement on new trails and eventually continue through existing trails. 

The contractor, Flowtrack, was on site for one week during June to begin work on Loop B. You won’t see contactors back out for a few weeks, but the new development areas aren’t ready for riders yet. We’re asking you to please stay off construction areas to ensure there is no damage done to trail segments under construction. Construction will continue throughout the summer and early fall, and all existing trails remain open for users to enjoy without interruption. 

While not yet ready for public use, we ARE able to share pictures of the progress. In August, Flowtrack will continue work on this phase of the project, which will be completed by the end of the year. Follow the project progress on our social media channels or subscribe to our emails for future updates.

Consumers Energy Pipeline Project

Kensington Metropark

Consumers Energy, the Village of Milford, Milford Township and the Huron-Clinton Metroparks are working closely to minimize impact on the environment as the energy company modernizes its natural gas infrastructure. 

Construction began in May 2020 on the final phase of the Saginaw Trail Pipeline project, which will replace or reroute 28 miles of pipeline in Genesee and Oakland counties to improve safety and reliability. The project is expected to be complete this fall.

Roughly three miles of the planned route will cross through Kensington Metropark and replace Consumer’s existing pipeline. 

Consumers Energy is working with Milford and the Huron-Clinton Metroparks leadership teams to protect the public and the environment during this important project.

Visitors will notice Consumers teams working within the park, and as the project progresses, temporary trail closures can be expected. The map below shows those areas and anticipated dates. Please obey closure and construction signs while enjoying the park. They are there for your safety. 

You can read the frequently asked questions about this project by CLICKING HERE.

This project requires safety-related hydrotesting on the Saginaw Trail Pipeline. Consumers has issued the following letter and map about that piece of the project.
Read the letter about hydrotesting.
View the map about hydrotesting.

Boat Launch Parking Lot Redevelopment: Phase 1 

Stony Creek Metropark

In November 2019, the Metroparks Board of Commissioners approved site plans for what Stony Creek Boat Launch area would look like after a three phase redevelopment project. 

Work on phase one will begin in summer 2020. Phase I would include the completion of the parking lot, demolition of the old hike-bike trail alignment, and development of naturalized swales between the lot and park road. One of the projects identified during the recently-completed storm water management planning process, a culvert in poor condition under the old hike-bike trail, will be addressed with the completion of this first phase. This new parking lot configuration will improve safety of the Hike-Bike trail by eliminating the entrance crossing, improve traffic flow in the lot, provide accessible boat parking, and address the surface and drainage structures by remove curbing and strategically incorporating additional plantings to improve storm water management.

Phase II would include the design and construction of the new restroom building and associated site amenities. Phase III will include the demolition of the existing restroom building and construction of a new shade feature on site. The existing restroom building/warming shelter does not meet accessibility standards. Plans will demolish the existing building following the construction of a new restroom building on the opposite side of the boat launch driveway. The new building is proposed to include four universal access restrooms and a warming area facing Stony Creek Lake.

Approved conceptual drawings can be found in the November 2019 board packet at https://www.metroparks.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/11_November-2019.pdf?x91894 starting on page 142.

Progress is being made at the site and as of October 2, the parking lot areas of the redevelopment are partially completed and open.

Maple Beach 

Kensington Metropark 

Maple Beach at Kensington Metropark will be receiving some upgrades through two projects in 2020. One project, currently under construction, will replace the outdated restroom building and add and improve accessible paths to the beach. This project is already underway and visitors will notice construction taking place in that area. It is targeted to be complete sometime this fall.

The second project is to add an accessible playground to the area. This would be the first of its kind within the Metroparks, and one of very few in our region. The playground will have solid, rubber safety surfacing, sensory-friendly equipment, transfer-stations onto the playscape, spaces for quiet independent play, dignity landings on slides and more. The space’s layout and design concept have been reviewed and evaluated by multiple organizations through the Fun, Accessible, Inclusive Recreation (FAIR) Play Coalition, ensuring this project is accessible, and inclusive to all ages and abilities. The FAIR Play Coalition is an advisory group for this project comprised of organizations and individuals that have expertise in working with those with disabilities or who have disabilities themselves.

“Designing accessible spaces, particularly a recreational space, is critical to creating a society that works for and values everyone,” said Dessa Cosma, executive director of Detroit Disability Power and a member of the FAIR Play Coalition. “A playground that accommodates children with disabilities does not just allow for those children to enjoy the pleasures of youth with friends and siblings, but teaches the other children and adults present to consider and interact with people different from themselves.”

The space also considers adults, parents and grandparents with disabilities.

“As a father with an eight-year-old and a baby boy on the way I am looking forward to the day when all playgrounds are accessible for the children who use them and the parents who need to have access to their children,” said Livingston County resident Bryan Wilkerson and FAIR Play Coalition member. “I am a wheelchair user with a spinal cord injury, and I find very few playgrounds work well for me to play with my daughter. It’s important to keep all people in mind when building and I think the Maple Beach Playground is going to do just that.”

The contract for playground equipment/design has been awarded, and bids for site work are currently being solicited. Installation is tentatively targeted to take place in fall of 2020.
  

Baypoint Beach

Stony Creek Metropark 

Visitors will notice construction work already underway at Baypoint Beach. When complete, the area will include a new restroom building and pathways that will improve accessibility to the beach and will provide restroom and changing facilities at the beach. Completion is expected in fall of 2020.

Construction is coming along nicely in August.

Environmental Discovery Center (EDC) Pond Dome Project

Indian Springs Metropark 

Repairs are needed on the pond dome at Indian Springs Metropark to address leaking so it can be enjoyed for years to come. The project started in late August with the draining of the pond.

Work will include replacing seals and polishing the dome surface to improve visibility when in use. Staff will be installing a barrier once the pond is drained to keep small animals and snakes from making homes in the newly dry pond floor. When complete, the pond water levels will be restored and the dome will be reopened. 

We’re committed to protecting the habitats, flora and fauna that call these areas home during the project. As the water level in the pond began to drain, staff and volunteers quickly went to work relocating fish from the Discovery Pond to the nearby Fen Pond. Fishing poles and nets were used to capture fish and quickly transport as many fish as possible into the Fen Pond (which contains similar habitat as the Discovery Pond).

Additionally, throughout the project staff will be regularly monitoring the work site for the native Massasauga Rattlesnake. This is a protected species that call Indian Spring Metropark home. If any make their way into the work site, they will also be relocated to another area of the park.

When you visit this area, please remain on the trails to protect the natural habitats.

The week of November 23, the pond started refilling. It will take a couple of weeks before the water level returns to normal. The pond dome has been polished and resealed and work on the interior of the dome will now begin.

  

   

Border 2 Border(B2B) Trail Segment D3 & Relocation of Skip’s Canoe Livery

Delhi Metropark 

Work is continuing on the B2B trail system connecting communities and parks throughout the region. A project agreement and easement for Segment D3 (which will connect the B2B trail through Delhi Metropark) will be brought for approval before the Board of Commissioners in July. Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation is leading this project. Learn more about the entire B2B collaborative project below.

Washtenaw County Project Page

Work on the B2B trail will bring connectivity between multiple Metroparks and the surrounding communities. The current alignment is designed to travel through the area of Delhi Metropark where Skip’s Canoe Livery currently exists. We have collaborated with Skip’s Canoe Livery to identify a new location in East Delhi that will improve the safety, efficiency and accessibility of their operation once the B2B trailwork is completed. Conceptual plans were approved at the June 2020 Board of Commissioners meeting. Design work has started, and we’re looking toward permitting and Township approvals. Construction is targeted for later this year.

Historic Mill Structural Improvements

Wolcott Mill Metropark Historic Center 

In 2019, the Historic Center at Wolcott Mill Metropark was closed as a precaution after staff observed hollow sounding areas beneath the basement floor of the mill. An Engineering firm was hired to investigate by using ground penetrating radar, coring through the existing concrete, and taking measurements to the material below.  Soil borings and excavations were also completed on the outside of the building to assess the ground conditions and the existing foundation. 

Contractual bidding is taking place to complete floor grouting work. This work will address voids underneath the basement floor that were found during the inspection.

New Park Office

Willow Metropark 

Currently, the Park Office at Lower Huron houses staff and operations for Lower Huron, Willow and Oakwoods Metroparks. A larger office is being developed at Willow Metropark to address current issues with the aging building and use areas for the public at the existing office and to create a more centralized office location for the three parks.

Site and Architectural drawings are being finalized for the new office building.  Visitors may notice some clearing and survey work at the location of the new office building. The project is targeted to be started in late fall and will take approximately one year to complete. 

Shelden Trails Redevelopment 

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 system in southeast Michigan. 

The Shelden Trails were not originally designed as a multi-use trail system. Today they are best known for their mountain biking experience but are used year-round as hiking and skiing trails as well.  A large portion of the current trails are composed of the historic Shelden estate, gifted to Stony Creek Metropark by Elizabeth Shelden in 1981 for public recreation and developed mainly from old roads, footpaths, and trails.  The roads and footpaths ran among the estate’s nine buildings (no longer in existence). 

Although this land is now protected as part of Stony Creek Metropark, its previous lack of purposeful design has led to off-trail paths being developed, a lack of safety for users, and trails running too close to sensitive habitat areas. Renovations to the trail system will be specifically designed to help protect and preserve this area and its biodiversity, making it more sustainable and discouraging users from leaving the trails and creating “bandit” trails that encroach on critical habitat. Taking an ecological approach to trail redesign and reconstruction will serve to protect the earth’s beauty and bounty.

The Metroparks have been working closely with an advisory group of trail users and long-time mountain biking partner organization, Clinton River Area Mountain Bike Association (CRAMBA), to provide input on the wants and needs of regular users of the trails. The outcome has been a collaborative development process that has highlighted problem areas of the existing trails so that creative solutions can be found, and a premier trail experience can be developed.

In mid-June the first phase of construction began.  Included in this first phase are brand new trail loops A and B, and the Northern Connector segment as identified in the field design plan for the trail system developed by Applied Trails Research in May 2019. Loop A consists of the Metroparks’ first natural surface handcycle accessible trail, and users will be able to rent a handcycle from the park to experience it for themselves (thanks to a grant from the League of Michigan Bicyclists). Also included is developing an improved signage and wayfinding system to implement on new trails and eventually continue through existing trails. 

The contractor, Flowtrack, was on site for one week during June to begin work on Loop B. You won’t see contactors back out for a few weeks, but the new development areas aren’t ready for riders yet. We’re asking you to please stay off construction areas to ensure there is no damage done to trail segments under construction. Construction will continue throughout the summer and early fall, and all existing trails remain open for users to enjoy without interruption. 

While not yet ready for public use, we ARE able to share pictures of the progress. In August, Flowtrack will continue work on this phase of the project, which will be completed by the end of the year. Follow the project progress on our social media channels or subscribe to our emails for future updates.

Consumers Energy Pipeline Project

Kensington Metropark

Consumers Energy, the Village of Milford, Milford Township and the Huron-Clinton Metroparks are working closely to minimize impact on the environment as the energy company modernizes its natural gas infrastructure. 

Construction began in May 2020 on the final phase of the Saginaw Trail Pipeline project, which will replace or reroute 28 miles of pipeline in Genesee and Oakland counties to improve safety and reliability. The project is expected to be complete this fall.

Roughly three miles of the planned route will cross through Kensington Metropark and replace Consumer’s existing pipeline. 

Consumers Energy is working with Milford and the Huron-Clinton Metroparks leadership teams to protect the public and the environment during this important project.

Visitors will notice Consumers teams working within the park, and as the project progresses, temporary trail closures can be expected. The map below shows those areas and anticipated dates. Please obey closure and construction signs while enjoying the park. They are there for your safety. 

You can read the frequently asked questions about this project by CLICKING HERE. (link to PDF provided by Consumers)

Boat Launch Parking Lot Redevelopment: Phase 1 

Stony Creek Metropark

In November 2019, the Metroparks Board of Commissioners approved site plans for what Stony Creek Boat Launch area would look like after a three phase redevelopment project. 

Work on phase one will begin in summer 2020. Phase I would include the completion of the parking lot, demolition of the old hike-bike trail alignment, and development of naturalized swales between the lot and park road. One of the projects identified during the recently-completed storm water management planning process, a culvert in poor condition under the old hike-bike trail, will be addressed with the completion of this first phase. This new parking lot configuration will improve safety of the Hike-Bike trail by eliminating the entrance crossing, improve traffic flow in the lot, provide accessible boat parking, and address the surface and drainage structures by remove curbing and strategically incorporating additional plantings to improve storm water management.

Phase II would include the design and construction of the new restroom building and associated site amenities. Phase III will include the demolition of the existing restroom building and construction of a new shade feature on site. The existing restroom building/warming shelter does not meet accessibility standards. Plans will demolish the existing building following the construction of a new restroom building on the opposite side of the boat launch driveway. The new building is proposed to include four universal access restrooms and a warming area facing Stony Creek Lake.

Approved conceptual drawings can be found in the November 2019 board packet at https://www.metroparks.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/11_November-2019.pdf?x91894 starting on page 142.

Maple Beach 

Kensington Metropark 

Maple Beach at Kensington Metropark will be receiving some upgrades through two projects in 2020. One project, currently under construction, will replace the outdated restroom building and add and improve accessible paths to the beach. This project is already underway and visitors will notice construction taking place in that area. It is targeted to be complete sometime this fall.

The second project is to add an accessible playground to the area. This would be the first of its kind within the Metroparks, and one of very few in our region. The playground will have solid, rubber safety surfacing, sensory-friendly equipment, transfer-stations onto the playscape, spaces for quiet independent play, dignity landings on slides and more. The space’s layout and design concept have been reviewed and evaluated by multiple organizations through the Fun, Accessible, Inclusive Recreation (FAIR) Play Coalition, ensuring this project is accessible, and inclusive to all ages and abilities. The FAIR Play Coalition is an advisory group for this project comprised of organizations and individuals that have expertise in working with those with disabilities or who have disabilities themselves.

“Designing accessible spaces, particularly a recreational space, is critical to creating a society that works for and values everyone,” said Dessa Cosma, executive director of Detroit Disability Power and a member of the FAIR Play Coalition. “A playground that accommodates children with disabilities does not just allow for those children to enjoy the pleasures of youth with friends and siblings, but teaches the other children and adults present to consider and interact with people different from themselves.”

The space also considers adults, parents and grandparents with disabilities.

“As a father with an eight-year-old and a baby boy on the way I am looking forward to the day when all playgrounds are accessible for the children who use them and the parents who need to have access to their children,” said Livingston County resident Bryan Wilkerson and FAIR Play Coalition member. “I am a wheelchair user with a spinal cord injury, and I find very few playgrounds work well for me to play with my daughter. It’s important to keep all people in mind when building and I think the Maple Beach Playground is going to do just that.”

The contracts for playground equipment/design and site work have been awarded. Installation is tentatively targeted to take place in fall of 2020.

    

Baypoint Beach

Stony Creek Metropark 

Visitors will notice construction work already underway at Baypoint Beach. When complete, the area will include a new restroom building and pathways that will improve accessibility to the beach and will provide restroom and changing facilities at the beach. Completion is expected in fall of 2020.

Environmental Discovery Center (EDC) Pond Dome Project

Indian Springs Metropark 

Repairs are needed on the pond dome at Indian Springs Metropark to address leaking so it can be enjoyed for years to come. The project will start late summer 2020 with the draining of the pond.

Work will include replacing seals and polishing the dome surface to improve visibility when in use. When complete, the pond water levels will be restored and the dome will be reopened. 

Border 2 Border(B2B) Trail Segment D3 & Relocation of Skip’s Canoe Livery

Delhi Metropark 

Work is continuing on the B2B trail system connecting communities and parks throughout the region. A project agreement and easement for Segment D3 (which will connect the B2B trail through Delhi Metropark) will be brought for approval before the Board of Commissioners in July. Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation is leading this project. Learn more about the entire B2B collaborative project below.

Washtenaw County Project Page

Work on the B2B trail will bring connectivity between multiple Metroparks and the surrounding communities. The current alignment is designed to travel through the area of Delhi Metropark where Skip’s Canoe Livery currently exists. We have collaborated with Skip’s Canoe Livery to identify a new location in East Delhi that will improve the safety, efficiency and accessibility of their operation once the B2B trailwork is completed. Conceptual plans were approved at the June 2020 Board of Commissioners meeting. Design work has started, and we’re looking toward permitting and Township approvals. Construction is targeted for later this year.

Historic Mill Structural Improvements

Wolcott Mill Metropark Historic Center 

In 2019, the Historic Center at Wolcott Mill Metropark was closed as a precaution after staff observed hollow sounding areas beneath the basement floor of the mill. An Engineering firm was hired to investigate by using ground penetrating radar, coring through the existing concrete, and taking measurements to the material below.  Soil borings and excavations were also completed on the outside of the building to assess the ground conditions and the existing foundation. 

Contractual bidding is taking place to complete floor grouting work. This work will address voids underneath the basement floor that were found during the inspection and.

New Park Office

Willow Metropark 

Currently, the Park Office at Lower Huron houses staff and operations for Lower Huron, Willow and Oakwoods Metroparks. A larger office is being developed at Willow Metropark to address current issues with the aging building and use areas for the public at the existing office and to create a more centralized office location for the three parks.

Site and Architectural drawings are being finalized for the new office building.  Visitors may notice some clearing and survey work at the location of the new office building. The project is targeted to be started in late fall and will take approximately one year to complete. 

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