Milliken State Park is officially open

Milliken State Park on the Detroit RiverWalkThis is long-awaited good news from the DNR.

Dec. 3, 2009

Contacts: Eric Cowing 734-289-2715 or Mary Dettloff 517-335-3014

The Department of Natural Resources announced that the William G. Milliken State Park and Harbor is now officially open to the public.

Phase II development of the park is complete and the construction fences have been removed. Phase II development includes an innovative storm water management design that establishes a wetland environment and serves as a natural water filtration system for storm water run-off from the park and future nearby development properties. Energy efficient LED lighting and plantings native to southeastern Michigan were also included in the Phase II developments.

William G. Milliken State Park and Harbor is 31 acres in size and is located on a reclaimed brownfield that had been impacted by many decades of industrial use. Coastal wetlands are an important part of the Detroit River ecosystem as they provide habitat for migratory birds and other wildlife. Ninety-seven percent of the native coastal wetlands along the river have been lost to development, making the wetlands an imperative, eco-friendly and educational addition to the riverfront.

“I encourage visitors to come see the wetlands and, if you enjoy fishing, toss in a line along ‘Anglers Avenue’ at the river’s edge,” said Ron Olson, chief of the DNR’s Parks and Recreation Division. “Park visitors will find fishing opportunities on the Detroit River, quiet seating at the Peter Stroh Memorial, two picnic pavilions, an historic dry dock area, the wetlands complex, four learning stations set up throughout the park, and accessible bicycle and pedestrian trails that connect to the Detroit RiverWalk. Also keep an eye out for new residents in the wetlands. Geese, hawks, pheasants, muskrats, and foxes have already been reported in the area.”

The public harbor has 52 slips for transient and seasonal boaters, and reservations can be made on-line at, or by calling the DNR central reservation system at 1-800-447-2757. The park is an anchor to the Detroit RiverWalk development and will soon include a trailhead for the Dequindre Cut Trail Greenway to connect the riverfront to the Eastern Market. A dedication ceremony for the William G. Milliken State Park and Harbor (formerly the Tri-Centennial State Park and Harbor) was held on Oct. 22, to officially rename the park in honor of the longest-serving Governor in Michigan history.

The DNR would like to thank the Milliken family, the City of Detroit, the Detroit RiverFront Conservancy, the Peter Stroh family, JJR Consultants, Anglin Civil Construction, and the many other partners, contractors, consultants and other state agencies listed on the DNR Web site for their funding, support and assistance in achieving the completion of this Phase II milestone.

William G. Milliken State Park and Harbor is located at 1900 Atwater St. in downtown Detroit, next to the Rivard Plaza. It is the first urban state park in Michigan.

For more information about the park, amenities or accessibility, contact the park supervisor at 734-289-2715 during the winter months (TTY/TDD711 Michigan Relay Center for the hearing impaired). A Web site for the new park will be available soon at

The Department of Natural Resources is committed to the conservation, protection, management, accessible use and enjoyment of the State?s natural resources for current and future generations.

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2 Responses to “Milliken State Park is officially open”

  1. Miliken State Park is open « Wheelhouse Detroit Says:

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  2. Nine Detroit Projects to Watch in 2010 | Says:

    […] technically this was opened in December, but given the weather, not many may know about this RiverWalk connection. One key is it brings the […]

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