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With Memorial Day fast approaching and summer right around the corner, Washtenaw County Parks is gearing up for a busy season ahead. Staff have been diligently preparing the facilities at Independence Lake County Park and Rolling Hills County Park.
Park and recreation systems nationwide have been experiencing a significant seasonal staff shortage which can impact summer facility operations. Coy Vaughn, Director of Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation Commission, said “we have an amazing, dedicated team of professionals working hard to open our facilities but continue to be challenged by the lack of seasonal workers.” Vaughn noted the labor shortage has resulted in delaying the opening for both the County water park and spray park until later in June.
At Independence Lake County Park, individuals and families can swim, bike, boat, fish, hike, picnic and play volleyball. There are also two 18-hole disc golf courses at the park. Lifeguards will be at Independence Lake beach starting Saturday, May 29 at 10am, and will be on-site seven days a week throughout the summer. The park is also home to Blue Heron Bay (BHB), a spray park perfect for summer fun. BHB is slated to open late-June and features play structures, water buckets, water slides, splash pad and concessions.
Visitors to Rolling Hills County Park have several recreational options available including disc golf, nature trails, fishing pond, picnic areas, sport fields, and a playground. Rolling Hills Water Park will open on Monday, June 21, for the summer with daily hours of 12pm-7pm. The water park features a lazy river, wave pool, water slides, zero depth entry, and an activity pool for younger children. The full-service facility also includes concessions, sun deck (no deck chairs this year), umbrellas, bathhouses and picnic areas. This season, admission to the water park will be online ticket sales only to align with capacity limits. In-person ticket sales will not be available. Tickets will go on sale Monday, June 14, at parksonline.ewashtenaw.org.
General summer park hours at both locations is 8am – 9pm daily. Note: The parks may implement capacity restrictions based on volume of users. Independence County Park is located at 3200 Jennings Road in Whitmore Lake. Rolling Hills County Park is located at 7660 Stony Creek Road, Ypsilanti.
Photo Credit: Bryan Mitchell