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New Haven in Macomb County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Walter C. Wetzel State Recreation Area

 
 
Walter C. Wetzel State Recreation Area Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Joel Seewald, March 16, 2020
1. Walter C. Wetzel State Recreation Area Marker
Inscription.  
Welcome to Wetzel State Recreation Area
Wetzel State Recreation Area consists of approximately 900 acres. In 1968, The (then) Dept. of Conservation appropriated $250,000 for the acquisition of a new State Park in Macomb County, near Coon Creek. In 1969, a Master Plan was approved which included intense recreation development.

On Oct. 1969, the site was officially named Walter Cline Wetzel State Recreation Area.

In 1969, nearly 20 years after it was approved, a Citizens advisory Committee met to begin a Master Plan. A boundary was approved which totaled 935 acres. The new plan emphasized more natural areas, hiking, hunting and passive recreation.

In 1999, the DNR's Wildlife Division and DEQ began to develop wetlands, following a mitigation settlement. In 2003 the plan was expanded to include both landscape development and extensive wetland and lakeplain prairie planting.

In 2008, A General management Plan for the park was completed by the DNR Parks and Recreation Division.

Friends of Wetzel State Recreation Area Receive Partners in Conservation Award
A volunteer
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organization that supports Wetzel State Recreation Area received the Partner in Conservation Award from the Natural Resources Commission in 2007. The Friends of Wetzel State Recreation Area were honored for their 10 years of work volunteering for activities and fundraising to support the park.

Since 1997, the Friends of Wetzel State Recreation Area hold yearly spring cleanups, have bought and installed benches and nesting boxes, performed regular maintenance, removed noxious, invasive plants and keep a watchful eye on the property.



Walter Cline Wetzel
Walter C. Wetzel was a United States Army soldier and a recipient of the United States military's highest decoration, the Medal of Honor, for his actions in World War II. On April 3, 1945. He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor ten months later, on February 26, 1946. Wetzel joined the Army from Roseville, Michigan. Wetzel was buried in the Netherlands American Cemetery, Margraten, the Netherlands.

Medal of Honor citation
Private First Class Wetzel's official Medal of Honor citation reads:
Pfc. Wetzel, an acting squad leader with the Antitank Company of the 13th Infantry, was guarding his platoon's command post in a house at Birken, Germany, during the early morning hours of 3 April 1945, when he detected strong
Walter C. Wetzel State Recreation Area Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Joel Seewald, March 16, 2020
2. Walter C. Wetzel State Recreation Area Marker
enemy forces moving in to attack. He ran into the house, alerted the occupants and immediately began defending the post against heavy automatic weapons fire coming from the hostile troops. Under cover of darkness the Germans forced their way close to the building where they hurled grenades, 2 of which landed in the room where Pfc. Wetzel and the others had taken up firing positions. Shouting a warning to his fellow soldiers, Pfc. Wetzel threw himself on the grenades and, as they exploded, absorbed their entire blast, suffering wounds from which he died. The supreme gallantry of Pfc. Wetzel saved his comrades from death or serious injury and made it possible for them to continue the defense of the command post and break the power of a dangerous local counterthrust by the enemy. His unhesitating sacrifice of his life was in keeping with the U.S. Army's highest traditions of bravery and heroism.



Radio Control Club of Detroit
The RCCD is one of the oldest radio flying clubs in the country. Beginning in Detroit in 1952, it became a chartered club in 1953. Originally, the club flew planes in Detroit at 9-mile and Northwestern. When the property was sold for Northland Shopping Center, the club moved to various fields until 1982, when the DNR allowed the club to use a field currently part of a put-in-take pheasant hunting area.
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In 1993, the club moved to a more suitable site, north of 27 mile road, where it is to this day. The RCCD has made numerous improvements and has been a partner in the future planning of Wetzel State Recreation Area.
 
Erected by Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
 
Topics. This memorial is listed in these topic lists: Parks & Recreational AreasWar, World II. A significant historical date for this entry is February 26, 1946.
 
Location. 42° 44.669′ N, 82° 50.288′ W. Marker is in New Haven, Michigan, in Macomb County. Memorial is on Werderman Road, 0.2 miles south of New Haven Road, on the right when traveling south. Marker is at the end of the recreation area parking lot. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: New Haven MI 48048, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Crawford Settlement Burying Ground (approx. 2.3 miles away); Millstones (approx. 4.8 miles away); Wolcott Mill (approx. 4.8 miles away); Religious Society Church (approx. 4.9 miles away); Ray Township District No. 1 School (approx. 4.9 miles away); "The Dorr" (approx. 5.2 miles away); Richmond Center for the Performing Arts (approx. 6.2 miles away); Steam Engines--A Brief History (approx. 6.2 miles away).
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 1, 2020. It was originally submitted on March 19, 2020, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan. This page has been viewed 376 times since then and 87 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on March 19, 2020, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.

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Jun. 9, 2023