Parks advisory board to hold meeting on Oxford Park property

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published March 1, 2017

 The city is planning the park’s update around Concept C, which has been referred to as an “active and passive” park area with a bit of open space, a playground, a splash pad, a basketball court and a soccer field.

The city is planning the park’s update around Concept C, which has been referred to as an “active and passive” park area with a bit of open space, a playground, a splash pad, a basketball court and a soccer field.

Rendering provided by the city of Berkley

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BERKLEY — The Berkley Parks and Recreation Advisory Board will hold a meeting concerning the Oxford Park property and wants residents in attendance to make their voices heard.

The meeting will take place beginning at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 9, at the Berkley Community Center, 2400 Robina Ave. The board is looking to hear comments on the planned use of the park space, which is located east of Merchants Park on Cambridge Road between Oakshire and Bacon avenues.

Parks and Recreation Director Theresa McArleton said the city currently is applying for a Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund grant from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to fund some of the different components that will go into the park.

Last year, the city revealed three different concept designs for how the park property could be redeveloped using input gathered from residents through meetings and online surveys.

McArleton said the city is planning the park using “Concept C,” which she previously referred to as an “active and passive” park area with a bit of open space, a playground, a splash pad, a basketball court and a soccer field.

The city is hoping to get a $170,000 grant, which it would use to fund a splash pad, a pavilion with a restroom, and a walking path into the park.

“Those are the first components that we’re looking to do,” she said. “From there, there are many other things that we want to do with the park, including a new playscape and some other landscaping-type things.”

McArleton said not every component can be done at the same time, which is why it takes several years to develop a project of this nature.

She also said the reason for the yearlong delay in submitting a grant is because state grants need to be submitted by April 1 and development on the concepts last year took too long. The grants are expected to be awarded at the end of the year.

Berkley Parks and Recreation Advisory Board Chairman Mike Kerby, a resident of the city for his entire life, said that while the plan for the park is pretty much set, there still is some more work to do.

“At this stage, we already have our plan set and we’re going for a grant, roughly about $170,000, for this property, and to do that we have to have a public hearing,” he said. “We’re already settled on the plan we’re going with, and we already (listed) those items on our grant. So this is so the public can ask questions about the grant and figure out a little more knowledge of the process.”

Besides what city officials are going for with the grant, Kerby said they’d like to put some fences around the fields and create more of a common space in between the two baseball fields.

“That type of input is pretty helpful,” he said. “Basically, to hear from them about the whole process, on how we came about our plan and (how we put) this out to the public, just so we know going forward when we do this to the next piece of property … we just want to know the best way to get this information out to folks. It’s helpful to have these public meetings.

“The more people we can get out to get involved in the process, the better we are moving forward with any other park stuff,” he said.

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