As the first urban park in Michigan, William G. Milliken State Park and Harbor provides a 31-acre green oasis in the midst of downtown Detroit.
The first phase of the park – the harbor – opened to the public in 2004 and offers several covered picnic areas, shoreline fishing and a 52-slip harbor. A 63-foot light tower that is a scaled down replica of the Tawas Point lighthouse marks the harbor entrance.
The second phase of the park opened on December 1, 2009 and includes a wetlands demonstration area that shows how wetlands act as nature’s water filtration system. Interpretative signs explain how the wetland naturally cleans the water and then returns it to the Detroit River as clean water – without going to a wastewater treatment plant.
The RiverWalk passes through the park in the area closest to the Detroit River, along fishing platforms and a memorial to Peter Stroh, a noted conservationist who was a tireless advocate for the opening Detroit’s waterfront the public. A bike path laces through the other side of the wetland, linking the park to Atwater Street or back to Rivard Plaza.