A footpath weaves through Catalpa Oaks County Park, located on Greenfield Road. County officials recently announced several upgrades to the park, including the footpath.

A footpath weaves through Catalpa Oaks County Park, located on Greenfield Road. County officials recently announced several upgrades to the park, including the footpath.

Photo by Kayla Dimick


Path, new soccer fields coming to Catalpa Oaks in Southfield

By: Kayla Dimick | Southfield Sun | Published May 15, 2019

 The soccer fields are slated for improvements. According to officials, the fields were made using leftover material after I-696 was constructed.

The soccer fields are slated for improvements. According to officials, the fields were made using leftover material after I-696 was constructed.

Photo by Kayla Dimick

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SOUTHFIELD — A footpath that residents forged themselves will soon be made into a full-fledged walking path.

According to a news release from the Oakland County Parks and Recreation Department, the department will invest $702,000 in Catalpa Oaks County Park, 27705 Greenfield Road, with the goal of improving the park this summer.

Projects slated for the park include constructing a trail, improving the soccer fields and connecting pathways to local neighborhoods.

Sue Wells, manager of parks and recreation at Oakland County Parks, said that the improvements are based on a 2018 project survey and open house that Oakland County Parks hosted.

Attendees of the open house indicated that multiuse trails are a top priority. A berm has been created on the outside perimeter of the park by walkers and joggers.

“One thing they’ve expressed that they’d like to see are walking trails,” Wells said. “There’s a trail there that’s been man-made by the people walking there.”

The perimeter pathway project also includes concrete pathways that will connect with existing neighborhood sidewalks, as well as the sidewalk along Greenfield Road.

Oakland County Parks Executive Officer Dan Stencil said in a prepared statement that a 0.6-mile aggregate perimeter pathway will be constructed in the same area as the berm.

“We chose aggregate over a paved path because many schools in the area currently use our fields and trail for cross-country meets. The aggregate pathway does meet Americans with Disabilities Act guidelines, so it will be accessible,” Stencil said in the prepared statement.

Stencil said in a news release that the pathway will cost the parks system $226,000. A storage shed and two electrical pedestals for special events will also be installed, costing $55,000.

Officials said the park’s soccer fields will get a makeover. It will cost $421,000 to grade, improve drainage and irrigate two of the four soccer fields, with the goal of improving turf quality, making them easier to play on.

Wells said that before Oakland County took over the park, the soccer fields had been built using clay construction material from the creation of Interstate 696.

The park’s pavilion, playground, two ballfields and restrooms will remain open during construction, but all four soccer fields will be closed and fenced off for the safety of park visitors.

“In recreation there’s really not a good time when we can say, ‘All the fields aren’t being used. Let’s do this project,’” Wells said. “It’s a painful process for people who use them, but in the long run, it’ll be much better.”

Wells said some programs or activities that have been historically held at the park may be moved to other nearby parks. Residents can stay up to date on their favorite events by following Oakland County Parks on Facebook and Twitter.

For more information, go to oakgov.com/parks or call (248) 858-0906.

Work on the 24-acre park is expected to start after Memorial Day, and it is expected to wrap up in August.

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