WB Parks and Recreation releases summer programming schedule

By: Mark Vest | West Bloomfield Beacon | Published June 20, 2023

 West Bloomfield has released its schedule of summer activities.

West Bloomfield has released its schedule of summer activities.

Photo provided by West Bloomfield

 West Bloomfield is offering residents multiple options for recreation and entertainment during the summer season.

West Bloomfield is offering residents multiple options for recreation and entertainment during the summer season.

Photo provided by West Bloomfield


WEST BLOOMFIELD — For years, the West Bloomfield Parks and Recreation Commission has played a role in helping to enhance the summer season for local residents.

The commission has multiple recreation and entertainment options on its summer schedule, including camps, concerts and water-based fun.

“The summertime is definitely where we see the most users,” said West Bloomfield Parks Executive Director Kelly Hyer. “We have more scheduled activities, both indoor and outdoor. It’s sometimes challenging to offer a full, robust offering in the wintertime. We still try to do it, but almost all our amenities are being used for drop-in or schedule activities in the summertime.”

The camps have been known to sell out in advance.

“We have, I think, 40 different types of camps — so everything from our traditional day camp; we have single-day nature camp experiences that we’re offering, and then we have a whole lot of, like, contracted camps, where we partner with different groups that are experts in their area,” said Meagan Tehako, who is the marketing and communications manager for the Parks and Recreation Commission. “Whether it’s STEM, a whole bunch of different sports camps, a good variety of art camps, we try to offer something (so) that every kid can find something that’s interesting to them.”

The Marshbank Music Series has been so popular among residents that an extra event has been scheduled this year. As opposed to the normal three concerts that take place during the summer, this year a fourth show has been added.

The summer concert series takes place at 5:30 p.m. on four consecutive Wednesdays, beginning July 12.

“That’s something we heard directly from the residents — they wanted more concerts,” Hyer said. “That’s why we were able to add a fourth concert.”

Four food trucks are set to be at each of the concerts.

Tehako said the concert series is a family-friendly event that typically draws between 600 and 1,000 people per concert.

Since opening approximately three years ago, Lily Pad Springs has been one of the more popular attractions that the township parks commission offers, as it is approximately 5,500 square feet and has over 50 play features and four water slides.

“It’s busy over there,” Tehako said. “I think people in West Bloomfield and outside of West Bloomfield are utilizing the park. It is still, technically, I think, the biggest splash pad in Michigan, so it does attract kind of a regional crowd to come check it out.”

Aside from activities such as fishing, kayaking and canoeing, this time of year can also be ideal for going on a hike, a walk or a ride on the West Bloomfield Trail.

“The West Bloomfield Trail cuts through West Bloomfield Township. That’s the lake-to-lake trail,” Hyer said. “That’s a very unique amenity that we have here in our township because if you look across the state of Michigan, on some of these trails, they’re not in every community.”

Aside from summer being the busiest time of year, from Tehako’s perspective, it is also the most fun because “we’ve been planning for this season since November of last year, so it’s fun to see all of our hard work and planning come to fruition, and we can actually see the event, interact with residents, and get to experience all the fun that we’ve spent the last six months planning,” she said. “It’s our favorite season.”

Although many choose to take advantage of the offerings, Tehako is aware that not everybody has.

“I would encourage people to, if they haven’t recently, to just get out in their parks and experience all the trails, all the green space,” she said. “West Bloomfield is such a beautiful place to live, and we have so much green space available to our residents. So just a reminder to get outside. Whether you’re registering for a structured program or just getting out and enjoying our park system, I encourage people to do that. It’s such a great time of year to do so.”

Despite already having access to a wide variety of options, if residents have any other ideas to enhance their parks experience, they are welcome to share it.

“If there’s something residents want to make sure they either give us some feedback on or something that we might be missing, please speak up, because you never know where the conversation idea is going to land, or what we can take from people’s ideas,” Hyer said. “We are here to serve residents and make their lives better, right here in West Bloomfield Township.”

To view a schedule of events, visit wbparks.org.