By Scott Bolthouse | The Huron Hub ScottBolthouse@HuronHub.com Posted May 13, 2020
The weather is changing for the better and the Huron-Clinton Metroparks are getting ready for an influx of summer visitors at their 13 parks across southeast Michigan.
“We’re already making adjustments to our summer schedule and policies in light of the COVID-19 emergency. These changes are necessary to help everyone stay safe and healthy while providing the broadest possible access to Metroparks facilities” says Amy McMillan, director of the Huron-Clinton Metroparks.
Beginning May 15, the Metroparks will resume normal admission fees and will begin collecting admission seven days a week. The parks were allowing free admission on certain days during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Park admission fees are an important source of revenue for the parks that help us continue to maintain the park properties, provide programming and keep them operational all year long,” McMillan said.
Visitors can still take advantage of the last free days at the Metroparks Wednesday and Thursday of this week.
Daily admission to the Metroparks is $10 or an annual pass costs $40 for access to all 13 parks all year long.
Some other recent changes for summer via the Metroparks include:
- To avoid overcrowding, Metroparks staff will be monitoring parking lot capacities. Parks will be limiting attendance to 60% of normal parking capacity.
- Access to lakes and rivers will remain open. You’re free to use watercraft normally permitted on these waters (such as canoes, kayaks, motorboats and sailboats). However, boat rental areas will remain closed at this time.
- Pools, splash pads and the Turtle Cove Aquatic Center are planned to open later this summer. This delayed opening will accommodate repair projects that couldn’t be made during the Stay Home, Stay Safe executive orders, as well as necessary safety training for lifeguards. Metroparks hope to open most pools by mid-June and Turtle Cove in early July, but this is subject to change. Future updates will be provided as those dates get closer.
- Bathrooms in the parks are being slowly reopened, but the ability to keep bathrooms open will rely on the ability to restock toilet paper, soap and disinfecting supplies. It is recommended that you wear a face mask in public restrooms, where keeping six feet of space may be difficult. Always follow CDC guidelines for slowing the spread of COVID-19.
- Interpretive programming is scheduled to restart on June 16. However, the Metroparks are cancelling the annual fireworks shows as well as all summer concerts through July 4 at Lake St. Clair and Stony Creek Metroparks. These events traditionally draw very large crowds, making social distancing impossible.
Interpretive centers and park offices remain closed, but plan to open in the future.
The Metroparks are also changing programming after June 16 to support social distancing.
To stay connected while staying at home, check out some online videos, programs and resources at metroparks.com/virtual.