Oakland Township seeks input on parks and rec plan

Officials to hold open house Oct. 23

By: Mary Beth Almond | Rochester Post | Published October 2, 2019

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OAKLAND TOWNSHIP — Officials are revising the township’s parks and recreation master plan and want residents’ input to help shape goals, objectives and potential projects for the next five years.

Mindy Milos-Dale, the director of the Oakland Township Parks and Recreation Department, said the township updates its master plan for its parks system every five years.

“The purpose of that is to provide a clear direction for what our residents want to see happening in our parks over the next five years, so this helps determine the long-term development of the parks and recreation facilities, programs, activities, our land preservation goals. It covers basically everything and is our guiding document. The other bonus of the master plan is it can be used as an explanation when we want to go for grant money,” she said.

Chris Nordstrom, the township’s master plan consultant from Carlisle Wortman Associates, said the township began working on the update in August.

“This is going to cover everything from trail development to park development to programming and anything in between,” he explained.

Public input is a big part of the 2020-2024 parks and recreation master plan process, according to Milos-Dale, who said residents can get involved in a number of ways.

Residents can take an online opinion survey through Oct. 9 at www.oakland township.org. Those who prefer a hard copy can stop by the Parks and Recreation Department, on the second floor of the Paint Creek Cider Mill, 4480 Orion Road.

“We will be looking at all of that data that we get back, and we’ll be discussing that at the Oct. 9 Parks and Recreation Commission meeting, which is public, so people are welcome to come and participate and listen to the results of the survey,” Milos-Dale said.

The public can drop in to the master plan open house 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. Oct. 23 at Oakland Township Hall, 4393 Collins Road, to hear professional parks and recreation planners from Carlisle Wortman Associates review and discuss the proposed five-year master plan, and to comment on signage designs for the entire parks system and plans for upcoming trailhead improvements at Paint Creek Junction Park.
“The open house is a drop-in format, and we will have all sorts of information about goals and objectives for the parks. We’re going to have concept plans for suggested changes to parks, and we’re currently working on a signage master plan and a logo system for our parks that will be there for review, so there is going to be a lot of information for people to review and provide comment or input on,” Milos-Dale said.

“We have a series of boards set up with all of the parks on them, and residents can come up and they can literally draw on the board and say, ‘Hey, I think we need this here.’ There’s always something that the residents come up with that myself and township leadership just haven’t thought of, and some of those ideas are probably unrealistic, but a lot of them are going to be valid, so we take into account what we’ve heard and from there try to plan exactly what we want to accomplish over the next five years,” Nordstrom added.

The draft plan will be available for public review on the township’s website Nov. 1-Dec 10. The Parks and Recreation Commission will hold a public hearing Dec. 11. Then the plan will head to the Planning Commission and the Oakland Township Board of Trustees for consideration.

Residents can visit the Parks and Recreation Department page on the township website, www.oaklandtownship.org, for current information on the planning process, to review and comment on draft planning documents as they are available, and to find out about upcoming public meetings.

For more information, call the township at (248) 651-7810.

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