This image shows the original scope of the planned Wilson Park improvements before it was scaled back due to cost increases.

This image shows the original scope of the planned Wilson Park improvements before it was scaled back due to cost increases.

Image provided by Ferndale Parks and Recreation

Wilson Park improvements to begin in April

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published March 5, 2024


FERNDALE — Wilson Park’s improvements are slated to begin in early April.

At a Feb. 26 meeting, the Ferndale City Council voted to approve a bid proposal for the construction and construction management of Wilson Park’s upcoming improvement project.

The council approved the bid proposal from Decima LLC to complete the construction for the park project for $425,521. They also accepted a proposal from Giffels Webster for construction management services for $53,250.

The original scope for the park project, which dates back to 2018, was bigger than what the city will implement. After the project was delayed a year, Parks and Recreation Director LaReina Wheeler said the city saw a 20% increase in labor and materials.

What ended up being removed from this phase of the project includes the basketball court, several walking paths and a strolling garden.

Items still included in the project’s scope are new walking paths, new playground equipment, a pavilion, a soccer field, parking lot improvements and park amenities such as a drinking fountain, benches, tables, trash and recycling bins.

“We knew that we had to phase out this project, of course, but we did not sacrifice any of the main scope items in order to do that,” Wheeler said.

A big item as part of the improvements will be a new underdrain system for Wilson Park. This is something that’s long been needed, according to city officials.

“We have flooding issues there, where after a large rain event, it could take days — if not weeks — for the rain to subside and during that time the park really can’t be used, the majority of it can’t be used,” Wheeler said.

City Council member Donnie Johnson, who lives near Wilson Park, told the Woodward Talk that the park has “seriously” been in need of upgrades.

“A lot of it relates to the drainage,” he said. “It floods very easily when it rains, and the water just sits. It’s a clay substrate there. So water doesn’t drain easily. Chunks of the park are sort of wet or soggy for a long period of time after rain. And that kind of depresses usage of the park. And then just the amenities are a little outdated. It’s not had love in a while and we were excited to finally get the project moving.”

Ferndale secured funding for the improvements through a Michigan Department of Natural Resources Trust Fund grant of $141,000, $100,000 from Oakland County, $25,000 from America In Bloom and $71,771 from the American Rescue Plan Act. The city also will be contributing a grant match of $141,000.

Barring any postponement, the project is slated to start April 1. The planned completion date is Aug. 1.