Park developments aim for accessibility

By: Linda Shepard | Rochester Post | Published August 28, 2018

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OAKLAND TOWNSHIP — The public can add input to accessibility plans for two new township park projects during an upcoming workshop.

“We would love to get feedback from a variety of participants to ensure our projects will be appropriate and accessible for everyone,” Oakland Township Parks Director Mindy Milos-Dale said.

Upcoming recreation projects include improvements to Paint Creek Junction Park and Marsh View Park. Project engineers will be present at the workshop to discuss the projects and answer questions.

More parking and a rest area at Paint Creek Junction Park — located off Orion Road, between Clarkston and Adams roads, and near the Paint Creek Trail — are currently in the plans by township and Paint Creek Trail officials.

“Additional parking and restroom facilities in this area have been listed in our recreation master plan for over 20 years,” Paint Creek Trail Manager Kristen Myers said. The additions will greatly improve accessibility in the only section of the Paint Creek Trail that lacks a parking lot and rest area, she added.  

The project will provide Paint Creek Trail pedestrians, bicyclists, skiers and equestrians with a parking lot, an access trail, two unisex vault toilets, a well for potable water and a picnic area.  

Oakland Township owns the proposed project site adjacent to the Paint Creek Trail, which is a component of the Iron Belle Trail, currently in development.  

According to Michigan Department of Natural Resources officials, the Iron Belle Trail is the longest state trail in the nation, with two paths to either hike or bike between Belle Isle Park in Detroit and Ironwood in the Upper Peninsula.

Marsh View Park, located on Clarkston Road at Adams Road, is slated to get new restrooms — replacing portable toilets with all-season, environmentally sustainable and universally accessible flushable vault toilets.

The park, which opened in 2007, features soccer fields, archery ranges, a basketball court and an ice rink.

“Based on resident feedback, the No. 1 (Marsh View) Park improvement that residents want to see is restrooms,” said Colin Choi, Oakland Township Parks and Recreation Commission chairman. “Couple that with the growing demand for recreational activities at Marsh View Park, and we felt the need to upgrade the restroom facilities to better accommodate all users of this park.”    

The cost for the Paint Creek Junction Park project is projected to be $294,600, and the Marsh View Park improvements are estimated at $131,500. State grant applications for both projects are currently under review.

Both Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund grant applications are available for view at oaklandtownship.org and at the Oakland Township Parks and Recreation offices in the Paint Creek Cider Mill, located at 4480 Orion Road.

The accessibility workshop will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Sept. 10 at the Paint Creek Cider Mill. Those requiring special assistance to attend the workshop should call to make advance arrangements.

For more information, call (248) 651-7810. Written comments can be emailed to mmdale@oaklandtownship.org or mailed to Oakland Township 2018 MNRTF Grant Accessibility Workshop, 4393 Collins Road, Rochester, MI 48306.

“We look forward to ideas and suggestions at our accessibility workshop from all participants, including the general public and disability advocates,” Myers said.

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