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Millard Beach

RocksMillard Beach

Millard is a neighborhood friendly passive non-swimming beach area, with over 1,000 feet of Lake Michigan shore and bluff. Historic gardens in the upper park overlook the lake and beach area. Ravine restoration over the past years has enhanced the habitat for trout spawning and other native wildlife and ecology.

Click on the following links for more information about Millard Park Beach:

Parking Options

Millard Park Beach Rock Garden

The Rock Garden was gifted to the Park District of Highland Park by longtime residents Richard and Marjie Ettlinger to provide a friendly outdoor play and learning space where children and adults can bring stones they collect from the beach to sift and sort while learning to identify such important Lake Michigan beach stones as basalt, granite, quartz, sandstone and limestone. Large boulders of each rock type are represented in the garden and engraved with their geological names. The space also includes a bench constructed by Eagle Scout candidate, Duncan Holzall. The sitting area will provide residents a place to relax and enjoy the beautiful beach while listening to the stones rolling together in the waves.

It was great to see people engage with the different elements and even create rock sculptures of their own on the beach

Project History

n October 2014, the Park District of Highland Park Board of Commissioners unanimously approved the installation of a Lake Michigan Rock Garden on the north beach of Millard Park, a 14-acre park that includes over 1,000 feet of Lake Michigan shore and bluff. The concept and funding for the garden was presented to the Park District Board by long-time Highland Park residents, Richard and Marjie Ettlinger.

Marjie Ettlinger had a long –standing desire to create an informational exhibit about Lake Michigan beach stones, so she approached the Park District and worked with Natural Areas Manager, Rebecca Grill, to develop the conceptual idea. Grill and the Ettlingers met with John Dalton, a respected exhibit designer, who helped infuse Marjie’s concept with current educational thinking and fun.

Basalt  IMG_1871  IMG_1863


Yellow Ribbon  Marjie