From the May 2019 issue

Wayne County Parks Marking 100 Years of Family Fun

Whether it's hiking, biking and fishing or waterslides, kids events or disc golf, Wayne County Parks packs in plenty of fun in 2019 – and any year!

A black family of five with fishing rods near a marsh in summer
Photo of Crosswinds Marsh from Wayne County Parks

From a wave pool, epic mud pit and disc golf to nature programs and even a chance to spot a pair of nesting bald eagles on a hike, Wayne County Parks offers plenty of fun for families at 40 locations

And, as of 2019, it’s been at the job for 100 years.

“Parks definitely enhance the quality of life of our residents,” says Alicia Bradford, the county’s parks division director. “They’re part of health and wellness, socialization and the overall wellness of the community.”

As part of that, the county is encouraging residents to post their photos and memories on social media with the hashtag #ShareYourParks.

Whether it’s the Hawthorn Ridge dog park in Westland (starting June 10, 2019), a bike ride in Trenton’s popular Elizabeth Park or a boardwalk shot at Crosswinds Marsh in New Boston, share your snaps to get in on the park party.

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And watch for new perks, too.

“We’re looking to expand our area and impact,” Bradford says. “We’re creating more connection points, new play spaces, restrooms and classroom spaces and looking to reopen the splash pad at Elizabeth Park.”

A few WCP factoids

  • 43 communities make up Wayne County and are served by its many parks.
  • 22 picnic shelters dot the parks. Why not book one to have a family meal out?
  • 1919 is the year Elizabeth Park in Trenton was donated to the county, making it Michigan’s first county park. 
  • 240 species of birds have been identified in the diverse wetland habitats at Crosswinds Marsh in New Boston – including a pair of nesting bald eagles.
  • 3 Native American tribes – Ojibwa, Ottawa and Potawatomi – live in what is now Wayne County. They called themselves the Tribes of the Three Fires. Learn more about their history at Nankin Mills Interpretive Center in Westland.

9 summer fun things to do at WCP

Why not try out some of the Wayne County Parks’ fun offerings for yourself? Here’s just a small sample of what’s in store for parents, kids and the entire family.

  1. Ready to get really messy? Visit the free Mud Day at Nankin Mills in Westland on July 9, 2019 for mud wheelbarrow races and the crowning of a mud queen and king.
  2. If you have a competitive preschooler, make sure he or she vies in the Nursery School Olympics on June 6, 2019. It’s complete with a marshmallow shot put, paper plate discus and Big Wheel grand prix (BYO bike).
  3. Aim for the baskets at two disc golf courses, located at Cass Benton in Northville and Lola Valley Parkway in Redford.
  4. The water’s fine at Detroit’s Wayne County Family Aquatic Center. Enjoy the wave pool and waterslides, take swim lessons and more. 
  5. Go take a hike! Join in the Crosswinds Marsh Trail Trekkers program in New Boston or the Nankin Mills adult outdoor hike series to learn about the trails and parks from a local naturalist.
  6. Try biking in the streets – no traffic guaranteed. Saturday in the Park returns May 4-Sept. 28, 2019. Take a six-mile, worry-free stroll or roll down Hines Drive from Ann Arbor Trail to Outer Drive.
  7. Nab a great catch at the Family Fishing Fun Day at Crosswinds Marsh, or the Fishing Derby at Waterford Bend Park in Northville. Both are June 8, 2019.
  8. Take your pup to the Hawthorne Ridge Dog Park and make sure to check out its special events like an ice cream social.
  9. Hit up Hobby Day at Crosswinds Marsh on Aug. 10, 2019 to try out fishing, geocaching, painting, chess, astronomy, beekeeping and metal detecting.

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