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THEY’RE YOUR METROPARKS.
WELCOME TO OUR STRATEGIC PLAN.

Hardwork, dedication, care and heaps of planning is what it takes for us to fulfill our mission. Read on to learn more about our three year vision.

VISION 2026: THREE YEARS OF PLANNING & PROGRESS

As the summer of 2026 ends, the Metroparks is celebrating with the people of Southeast Michigan. From pool parties to community picnics residents are using the Metroparks resources in ways that are applicable to them. Partner organizations deeply embedded in neighborhoods and small towns are hosting events and recording stories from residents. Their stories are joyful and easy—they express the tangible and intangible benefits of a world-class park system tailored for their community’s needs. As a result, resident engagement with Metroparks services are experiencing double digit growth.

The big uptick in engagement is because the Metroparks services have become much easier to access in the last few years. Thanks to our intentional effort to develop partnerships with grassroots organizations focused on hyper-local listening and outreach, our collective impact is experiencing a multiplier effect throughout the region because of our customized services. Residents from rural areas like Cohoctah and Ray are making use of programs that were created because of their input and their needs. Detroiters are enjoying easier access to swimming lessons and spaces that help them connect with nature and community. Tales come in from every corner of our five-county region about the learning, the joys and the connections made because of something the Metroparks supports.

The Metroparks’ ability to further our mission of bringing the benefits of parks and recreation to the people of southeast Michigan—all the people all their lives—has earned high praise from major state and national publications. Our new programs have drawn attention and investment from philanthropy and the public sector because of the creativity used adapting to ever-changing community needs.

We’re thrilled that our innovations are recognized with investment. Energized and inspired by our values of access, commitment, diversity, equity, leadership and stewardship, the Metroparks have graduated from managing resources to growing them for greater impact today and tomorrow. As a result, values-based improvements are present in every aspect of our operation, including our rich natural resources, physical infrastructure, financial position and workforce.

As we celebrate the learning and the progress made over the last three years, we humbly take stock of our accomplishments. We are heartened by the stories of residents who are just learning about the Metroparks and finding usefulness and unexpected delight in the interaction. Their stories and experiences are celebrated and considered as we embark on our next chapter of service to the Southeast Michigan community.

THE PATH TO VISION 2026: GOALS & OBJECTIVES

MISSION, VISION & VALUES

OUR MISSION WHO WE ARE. WHAT WE DO.

To bring the benefits of parks and recreation to the people of southeast Michigan. All the people. All their lives.

OUR VISION WHAT WE ASPIRE TO BE.

To be a unifying force — and indispensable resource — in southeast Michigan: One Region. One Metroparks. Endless Experiences.

OUR VALUES WHAT IS IMPORTANT TO US.

ACCESS: Make the Metroparks available to all in the region, regardless of race, age, income, gender or ability.
COMMITMENT: Treat all employees, constituents and stakeholders as partners in our shared mission to enhance the well-being of all southeast Michigan residents.
DIVERSITY: Embrace and reflect the region’s richness — both its natural environment and the communities within it.
EQUITY: Create a system that more fairly serves all individuals, families and communities across the region.
LEADERSHIP: Provide innovative programs, valuable educational and proactive community engagement.
STEWARDSHIP: Responsibly manage our natural resources and maintain financial stability to protect the public’s investment.

MISSION, VISION & VALUES

OUR MISSION

WHO WE ARE. WHAT WE DO.

To bring the benefits of parks and recreation to the people of southeast Michigan. All the people. All their lives.

OUR VISION

WHAT WE ASPIRE TO BE.

To be a unifying force — and indispensable resource — in southeast Michigan: One Region. One Metroparks. Endless Experiences.

OUR VALUES

WHAT IS IMPORTANT TO US.

ACCESS: Make the Metroparks available to all in the region, regardless of race, age, income, gender or ability.
COMMITMENT: Treat all employees, constituents and stakeholders as partners in our shared mission to enhance the well-being of all southeast Michigan residents.
DIVERSITY: Embrace and reflect the region’s richness — both its natural environment and the communities within it.
EQUITY: Create a system that more fairly serves all individuals, families and communities across the region.
LEADERSHIP: Provide innovative programs, valuable educational and proactive community engagement.
STEWARDSHIP: Responsibly manage our natural resources and maintain financial stability to protect the public’s investment.

LISTEN & CONNECT

The Metroparks leads by listening to the communities we serve and connecting them to our mission in ways that are useful and equitable.

Quarterly updates will be posted starting in April 2023.

The Metroparks strategic plan is ambitious. Understanding our progress against the wide-reaching goals and objectives requires a thoughtful approach to measurement that honors the quantitative and qualitative components of the plan. In addition, our approach to measurement needs to be as efficient and sustainable as it is accessible for internal and external audiences. To achieve these outcomes, staff will be utilizing a reporting framework that builds on existing internal plans and systems while expanding our subsequent internal and external communications.

At the base of the framework is our suite of existing and future departmental plans. These plans organize all the major priorities for the Metroparks by department and organize current and future project action items. They hold relevant data and analysis leadership needs to make decisions. For example, the marketing plan is where staff benchmark and measure resident engagement, attendance goals and brand awareness. The plans are updated at a high frequency, and we report progress at Commission meetings. The departmental plans are the work horse of our benchmarking, measurement, tracking and task management efforts within the strategic plan’s transparency and accountability objective.

See below for a full accounting of departmental plans.

Some of these plans are also published externally on our website. The public can find and read plans on our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Natural Resources and Planning and Development pages of the website. They are published here as a point of transparency for stakeholders and residents.

As the strategic plan progresses, all these existing plans will continue to be updated accordingly on their scheduled review frequency whether that is annual, every five years or some other increment, and the strategic plan will guide their specific goals and metrics. For example, the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion plan will be renewed in 2023 with a focus on supporting the strategic plan’s goals and objectives.

Finally, this strategic plan web dashboard will be used to highlight learnings and achievements at the objectives level. Using immersive storytelling, this dashboard will be the central place where residents and stakeholders, including funders, can follow our story as it progresses. It will be summative in nature and provide detail and highlights on small and major milestones found both in the departmental plans and strategic plan. We expect the dashboard to be updated quarterly.

This accountability and transparency framework ensures we can connect with our various audiences and bring them on this journey with us. Our departmental plans serve as the base for our quantitative and task management work, but the strategic plan makes space for the story that runs through and connects it all together. And our strategic plan dashboard allows us to publicly highlight that story for everyone.

Quarterly updates will be posted starting in April 2023.

MAINTAIN & INVEST

The Metroparks grow by maintaining a healthy financial position that invests in the organization’s relevancy to community members and resulting marketability to funders.

CONSERVE & STEWARD

The Metroparks conserves natural resources and actively stewards our impact on and relationship with the environment.

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