Malia Choi, 2, runs through the playground at Gallagher Creek Park in Oakland Township after the ribbon cutting May 23.

Malia Choi, 2, runs through the playground at Gallagher Creek Park in Oakland Township after the ribbon cutting May 23.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

New park follows township vision

By: Linda Shepard | Rochester Post | Published May 28, 2019


OAKLAND TOWNSHIP — A pavilion, a playground, a scenic overlook, trails and a native plant garden combine in Gallagher Creek Park to create a sense of community for township residents.

“This is a wonderful project,” Colin Choi, the Parks and Recreation Commission chairman, said at the park dedication May 23.

“We made this a top priority. We pushed to make it happen.”

Choi said the 15-acre park, located on Silverbell Road, east of Adams Road, began with a vision to preserve a natural area while also providing a children’s playground in the most populous area of Oakland Township.

“It is amazing what happened in just one year,” he said.

The park is located at the headwaters of Gallagher Creek and includes parking, picnic tables, a rain garden and portable restrooms in a wooden enclosure.

A volunteer community build added playground equipment last summer.

According to Oakland Township Parks and Recreation Director Mindy Milos-Dale, using a volunteer playground installation saved the township more than $11,000.

Township residents have also donated benches, tables, native plants and more.

“We thank the residents for their support,” Milos-Dale said.

The mission of the Oakland Township Parks and Recreation Commission is to provide parks, trails and programs that create memorable experiences and a sense of place while preserving the township’s historical and natural heritage, according to township officials.

Gallagher Creek Park improvement costs were funded through the township’s parks millage. Last year, the Oakland Township Board of Trustees approved $150,000 for the construction of the park playground, pavilion, restrooms, parking lot and more.

A connecting walking path was built along the north side of Silverbell Road, linking the park to existing pathways along Adams Road.

“The beauty of this is that is how well we worked together,” said Libby Dwyer, the chair of the Oakland Township Safety Paths and Trails Committee. “It was a smooth process and a good example of how the safety path millage is working for us.”

Twice since 2006, township voters have approved a safety paths and trails millage. The funds are used for the construction and maintenance of a network of safety paths, trails and boardwalks to provide healthy recreational opportunities and safe routes to schools, parks and neighborhoods in the township, as well as the acquisition of property and rights of way.