Midland is the county seat and a major city in Michigan. In the 2020 census, Midland County, Michigan, had a population of 42,547. Saginaw-Midland-Bay City Combined Statistical Area includes Saginaw, Midland, and Bay City.
Midland offers a wide array of cultural activities, from science and the arts to music and theatre. The Alden B. Dow Museum of Science and Art provides hands-on science, art, and technology exhibitions. Two state-of-the-art auditoriums are available at the Center for the Arts, where audiences ranging from 400 to 1,500 can enjoy everything from the Midland Symphony Orchestra and Centre Stage Theatre to MATRIX: Midland’s professional programs.
Midland has 72 parks with more than 3,000 acres of parkland. There are seven Regional Parks, which generally measure over 200 acres; seven Community Parks which have a size of 15 acres or more; 19 Neighborhood Parks, which are mostly between five and ten acres; and 36 Mini-Parks, which are less than an acre. Other city-owned land includes pathways, undeveloped areas designated for “passive recreation,” waterfront areas, and preserved natural areas. BMX cyclists may ride at Stratford Park. The Civic Arena, which has two NHL-size rinks and one Olympic-size rink, is used by skaters of all skill levels. The whole family may dine, shop, and have fun in Downtown Midland, which was granted a 2005 Michigan Cool Cities grant (a grass-roots, volunteer-based program to enhance a downtown area).
There are two golf courses, the Midland Community Center (with multiple swimming pools and exercise facilities), the West Midland Family Center, the North Midland Family Center, the Midland Gymnastics Training Center, the Midland Community Tennis Center, and the Midland Curling Center in addition to the Midland Recreation Center. The Dow Gardens feature 100-acre flower and vegetable gardens as well as an arboretum. These historic gardens are open to the public for tours. In addition, the Alden B. Dow Home and Studio offers a look at this important American architect’s style. This is where his mother, Grace A. Dow, is memorialized with the Grace A. Dow Memorial Library, Midland’s public library. Alden B. Dow F.A.I.A. designed the library.
Midland houses a variety of recreational sports facilities and organisations. The civic ice arena, located in the centre of town, offers two NHL-sized rinks and one Olympic-sized rink, as well as a skate park. Additionally, the Midland Community Tennis Centre and its 32 courts host local tennis competitions. The tennis centre was a recipient of the USTA’s America’s Best Tennis Town Award in 2009, in addition to hosting a USTA Pro Circuit event.
Consumers Power started building a nuclear power plant in Midland in 1968 in cooperation with Dow Chemical Company. The project cost $257 million, and it was expected to be finished in 1972. Construction problems and cost increases caused years of delays and complications. As a result of the Three Mile Island accident in 1979, nuclear regulatory requirements and systems were drastically altered. When it was revealed that containment building foundations were sinking and that foundation cracks were developing, Dow canceled its contract with Consumers Power and the project was abandoned in 1984. Consumers Power was almost bankrupted by the $4.1 billion investment. In 1985, a consortium of nine companies formed to transform the abandoned nuclear plant in Midland into a natural gas-fired power plant. The plant was converted in 1986 and finished at a cost of $500 million. The Consumers Power company restored consumer confidence in the early 1990s by successfully operating the Midland Cogeneration Venture. The facility currently supplies 10% of Michigan’s electricity needs.