Some good, some sad news from Oakland Parks

By: Tiffany Esshaki | C&G Newspapers | Published May 26, 2020


OAKLAND COUNTY — The state’s stay-at-home order directed residents to do just that: stay home. But there are some exceptions to that rule, and Oakland County Parks and Recreation Department officials said they hope to help county families ease their stir-craziness with some safe fun in the open air.

There are still a few days left to enjoy free entry at all Oakland County parks. Fees will be waived through June 1. Trails are open, and guests are encouraged to enjoy all outdoor spaces while maintaining social distance from those not with their small group. Restroom availability will be limited, and an online map can help guests locate temporary facilities.

Golfers can grab their clubs, face masks and hand sanitizer and head to their favorite county golf course. All courses are open to golfers and carts, including Glen Oaks Golf Course, in Farmington Hills; White Lake Oaks Golf Course, in White Lake; Lyon Oaks Golf Course, in Lyon Township; Red Oaks Golf Course, in Madison Heights; and Springfield Oaks Golf Course, in Davisburg.

This summer, the Oakland County Farmers Market will be open four days a week to give visitors a better chance of shopping in a smaller crowd: Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays 7 a.m.-1:30 p.m. and Sundays 8 a.m.-noon.

“Fresh fruits and vegetables will be provided from our farmers and direct-produce vendors from 17 counties across Michigan. That’s the excellence for which the Oakland County Farmers Market is known,” Market Manager Jeremy Brown said in a press release. “Food sampling is no longer an option. Shoppers are required to wear masks inside the market, and we strongly encourage everyone wearing masks on-site. We are limiting shoppers and vendors inside the building to less than 50 at one time.”

Unfortunately, not all of the park’s resources will be accessible this summer. The new Holly Oaks off-road-vehicle park, slated to open in July, will tentatively open Sept. 17. The call was made, according to a social media post, because all of the preparations for the land, from hiring and staff training to grant-funded planning and development, were on hold during the pandemic shutdown.

Red Oaks Waterpark, in Madison Heights, and Waterford Oaks Waterpark, in Waterford Township, will remain closed for the 2020 season. Social distancing cannot be achieved by swimmers in a wave pool or other water attractions, according to Sue Wells, the manager of park and recreation operations.

The county parks system made the decision with input from the Oakland County Health Division. The two waterparks serve a combined 280,000 visitors annually.

For more information and the latest updates on all the happenings at the Oakland County Parks and Recreation Department, visit or follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.