Explore winter at township parks

By: Linda Shepard | Rochester Post | Published January 6, 2016

 Paul Palazzolo and Marilyn Urban, from Highland Township, enjoy a winter walk Jan. 3 on the Paint Creek Trail.

Paul Palazzolo and Marilyn Urban, from Highland Township, enjoy a winter walk Jan. 3 on the Paint Creek Trail.

Photo by Linda Shepard

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OAKLAND TOWNSHIP — Winter is here, whether we like it or not. So why not enjoy some spectacular scenery in the township’s parks, along with some fun activities for the whole family.

“We have a lot of cool things going on,” said Mindy Milos-Dale, Oakland Township parks and recreation director. Along with ice skating and sledding, township parks offer guided bird walks, blow-up planetarium events, a session with a coyote naturalist and training for those who would like to participate in prescribed burns.

An ice skating rink is open daily at Marsh View Park, located on Clarkston Road, at Adams Road.

“The rink should be open by Jan. 16 if the weather cooperates,” said Becky McLogan, township recreation manager.

Skating clinics with national medal winner Tracey Daniels will be offered Jan. 23.

“Tracey is back by popular demand,” McLogan said. The clinics are designed for beginner skaters and will focus on fundamentals. Registration is required before Jan. 15 by filling out a form and a waiver in person at the Paint Creek Cider Mill, on Orion Road.

Lost Lake Nature Park, located on Lost Lake Trail, off Predmore Road, west of Rochester Road, features a sledding hill and a warming shelter. The sled hill is open every day and will hold Teen Nights 5-8 p.m.  Jan. 17 and Feb. 14, offering free pizza and pop to attendees.

Guided bird walks are held at 8:30 a.m. every Wednesday at a different township park.

“You get to go to a lot of different parks,” Milos-Dale said. “Typically, there are different birds in different parks. We’ve gotten some fairly decent binoculars, so we can loan people ours if they are new to birding. The walks last at least an hour.” 

A portable planetarium will explore the relationship between the Earth, the moon and the sun during a family-friendly event planned for 3 p.m. Feb. 28 at Oakland Township Hall, on Collins Road.

“The planetarium is a blow-up dome,” McLogan said. “Naturalists will talk about constellations, and we will have a themed movie. It should be fun. It is a family program.”

Volunteer crew training for controlled fires in township parks will be offered at 9 a.m. Feb. 20 at the Paint Creek Cider Mill. Prescribed burns are planned for March and May at several parks and along parts of the Paint Creek Trail. Prescribed burns help restore ecological function to natural communities, Milos-Dale said.

Township stewardship events include a program that looks at the myths and facts surrounding coyotes Jan. 21. A lakeplain oak openings program, planned for Feb. 11, will examine the unique region spanning seven counties in southeast Michigan and northwest Ohio that is recognized as a biodiversity hotspot. Both programs begin at 6:30 p.m. at the Paint Creek Cider Mill.

A winter walk is planned for 10 a.m. Feb. 3 at Cranberry Lake Park, on Predmore Road, featuring an informal history lesson.

“Naturalists will discuss the history of the park and the farmhouse that has been restored,” McLogan said. “They will have hot chocolate and coffee, and then go out for a winter walk.” 

The annual Oakland Township Winter Carnival will be held Feb. 6 in Marsh View Park.

“We will have a sort of a ‘Star Wars’ theme going on,” McLogan said. All are invited to participate in broom ball, lightsaber training, ice skating, target shooting and much more.

For more information about Oakland Township winter park activities and event registration, call (248) 651-7810 or visit oaklandtownship.org.

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