Oakland County parks switch gears for fall

By: Tiffany Esshaki | Birmingham - Bloomfield Eagle | Published August 31, 2015

 As part of its outreach efforts, Oakland County Parks and Recreation came out to Beverly Park on Aug. 27 with a zip line and other activities for the first Come Out and Play event. James Morphew and William Schumacher, both of Beverly Hills, give the thrill ride a try.

As part of its outreach efforts, Oakland County Parks and Recreation came out to Beverly Park on Aug. 27 with a zip line and other activities for the first Come Out and Play event. James Morphew and William Schumacher, both of Beverly Hills, give the thrill ride a try.

Photo by Donna Agusti

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OAKLAND COUNTY — Sure, we might be heading into fall, but that hardly means that we have to take the play indoors.

Oakland County Parks and Recreation has a calendar chock-full of fresh-air fun throughout September and into October.

Terry Fields, chief of recreation programs and services for Oakland County Parks and Recreation, said the county’s 13 parks sometimes draw even more guests during autumn than in the summertime.

“People like to be outdoors in the fall — they enjoy the colors of the trees, and the weather is nice; it’s not real, real hot,” she said.

Many of the activities and special events throughout the parks are reserved for the weekends since, Fields said, most families seem to have packed scheduled during the school week.

“It’s nice to give people opportunities to be out and active after everyone gets back to school and back to normal schedules,” she said.

If an outing to a county park is still too much of a time commitment, Fields said, there are lots of chances to enjoy parks and rec resources locally through the department’s outreach program.

“We like to enhance events that are already out there and happening. You’ll see us at the Michigan State Fair and the Salute to Veterans on Sept. 7,” she said.

Many of the items planned for September around the parks include nature center events and thrill-seeker activities, like a new zip line, which has been making the rounds to many of the parks throughout the summer.

There are also special events like an archery instructional clinic Sept. 30 and the Fall Color Car Classic on Sept. 26. The car show is a visitor favorite, according to Fields, who said patrons like to take advantage of one of the last chances they’ll have to show off their vintage rides before they’re tucked away for winter.

A good portion of the fun, though, is scheduled to take place at the Oakland County Market, which is operated by the Oakland County Parks and Recreation Department. Market Manager Jeremy Brown said that his team makes it a priority to keep the market a place to mingle with neighbors, not just shop, and specialty events keep that spirit alive.

“All the time, people come visit me in the sheds and tell me they’ve been coming to the market since they were a kid. Well, now it’s my job to keep their kids wanting to come back so they’ll go to the market master when they’re grown up and talk about how much a part of their childhood the market was,” he said.

Many of the activities planned are provided by the Michigan State University Extension, including a tutorial on preserving fresh food and a terrarium-building workshop. There’s always lots to do for the younger set, too.

As the season goes on and vendors start bringing in autumn goodies — like pumpkins, root vegetables and straw — the market will keep up with Halloween-themed festivities.

“Generally, 60-70 kids take part in those things,” he said. “And a lot of adults come out for the cooking demos, so they can learn new ways to prepare the foods they’re buying from the farmers.”

To learn more about all the things coming up at Oakland County parks, visit www.DestinationOakland.com or find Destination Oakland on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter@DestinationOak.


Oakland County Parks Activities:

• Free wood chips: Oakland County Parks is giving away free wood chips 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Sept. 12 at Orion Oaks County Park. Bring shovels or pitchforks, wheelbarrows and buckets. No commercial haulers allowed. Orion Oaks County Park is located at 2301 Clarkston Road in Orion Township. For information, call (248) 858-0906.

• Create a Terrarium: Kids can create a terrarium at 9:30 a.m. Sept. 12 at the Oakland County Market, 2350 Pontiac Lake Road in Waterford. For information, call (248) 858-5495.

• Invasive species program: Learn about invasive species and how local projects and activities are working to address the issue in the county at 10 a.m. Sept. 12 and 13 at the Oakland County Market, 2350 Pontiac Lake Road in Waterford. For information, call (248) 858-5495.

• Dog swim: Oakland County Parks celebrates the close of water park season noon-4:55 p.m. Sept. 12 at Waterford Oaks Waterpark, 1702 Scott Lake Road in Waterford. Dogs will be divided into time slots by size. Contests will be held for best wet look and best swimsuit. The event costs $10 in advance and $15 on-site. For information, call (248) 858-0916.

• Monarch Migration: Learn about butterflies at 1 p.m. Sept. 12 at Red Oaks Nature Center, 30300 Hales St. in Madison Heights. The event costs $3 in advance. For information, call (248) 858-0916.

• Health Education: Learn how to monitor your health with the Oakland County Health Division at 8:30 a.m. Sept. 17 at the Oakland County Market, 2350 Pontiac Lake Road in Waterford. For information, call (248) 858-5495.

• Haunted Hallows: Groveland Oaks campground will present “spooktacular” fun and family-friendly games Sept. 18-20 and Sept. 25-27 at the grounds, 14555 Dixie Highway in Holly.  A full schedule will be available at the park office one week prior to the event. For information, call (248) 634-9811.

• Warren Orlick Memorial Golf Outing: The nine-hole modified scramble includes lunch and begins at 9:30 a.m. Sept. 18 at White Lake Golf Course, 991 Williams Lake Road in White Lake. For information, call (248) 424-7077.

• Zip line: A zip line will be at Groveland Oaks 2-7 p.m. Sept. 18-19 and Sept. 26. Participants must weigh at least 45 pounds and should not wear flip-flops. The event costs $10 per day or $5 per ride. Groveland Oaks County Park is located at 14555 Dixie Highway in Holly. For information, call (248) 856-0916.

• Fruit sand art: Make fruit sand art necklaces and learn more about food preservation at 8:30 a.m. Sept. 19 at the Oakland County Market, 2350 Pontiac Lake Road in Waterford. For information, call (248) 858-5495.

• Canines, Coffee and Conversation: Kids can listen to a reading of “Scout Says, Dogs Get Nervous Too” 9:30-11:30 a.m. Sept. 19 at Red Oaks Dog Park, 31353 Dequindre Road in Madison Heights. The program is recommended for kids ages 10 and younger. For information, call (248) 424-7076.

• Clinton River watershed: Beginning at 10 a.m. Sept. 19, guests can learn about the community’s impact on waterways and the quality of the Clinton River at Waterford Oaks County Park, 2800 Watkins Lake Road in Waterford. After a short program, guests will hit the trails to collect debris and discover macro invertebrates in Pontiac Creek. Gloves will be provided, and outdoor dress is recommended. Pre-registration required. For information, call (248) 858-0916.

• Hike into History: Learn about the events that shaped the landscape of southeast Michigan 1-3 p.m. Sept. 19 at Red Oaks Nature Center, 30300 Hales St. in Madison Heights. The event costs $4, and pre-registration is required. For information, call (248) 858-0916.

• Community Garage Sale: Hunt the vendor shed for resale treasures 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Sept. 20 at the Oakland County Market, 2350 Pontiac Lake Road in Waterford. For information, call (248) 858-5495.

• Dog Beach Swim: Dogs get the final swim of the summer noon-4 p.m. at Independence Oaks County Park, 9501 Sashabaw Road in Clarkston. The event costs $10 per dog if registered before Sept. 11 and $15 on-site. For information, go to the Destination Oakland website.

• Senior market: Seniors can attend a short nutrition presentation on the benefits of fresh produce beginning at 8:30 a.m. Sept. 24 at the Oakland County Market, 2350 Pontiac Lake Road in Waterford. Limited quantities of coupons will be available. For information, call (248) 858-5495.

• Apple Season: Learn more about Michigan apples during a presentation beginning at 8:30 a.m. Sept. 26 at the Oakland County Market, 2350 Pontiac Lake Road in Waterford. Recipes will be available. For information, call (248) 858-5495.

 

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