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West Bloomfield parks to host summer fun

By: Eric Czarnik | West Bloomfield Beacon | Published June 13, 2011

 Charlene Yauk and Betty Bradbury, both of Orchard Lake, hike down the West Bloomfield Trail June 4. The hike was part of a celebration of National Trails Day.

Charlene Yauk and Betty Bradbury, both of Orchard Lake, hike down the West Bloomfield Trail June 4. The hike was part of a celebration of National Trails Day.

Photo by Donna Agusti

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WEST BLOOMFIELD — Marshbank Park might have delayed its grand opening celebration, but West Bloomfield Parks and Recreation promises lots of summer fun for residents this year.

Although the park, located by Hiller Road in West Bloomfield, held a winter party last February, parks spokeswoman Sue Reeves said the grand opening party June 12 was canceled and delayed due to several unresolved issues.

“We’re still waiting for grass to come in, in certain areas,” Reeves said. “With all the rain this spring, we have got some erosion going on.”

Nevertheless, the park is still open. Parks Deputy Director Dave Burley said he is excited about the response from residents, even though the fishing pier is not finished yet.

“The playgrounds are busy all the time; the walking paths are busy,” he said. “People really appreciate the opportunity to have real bathrooms, flushing toilets and running water.”

Burley said the department is still “a little gun-shy” about posting a rescheduled date for the park’s grand opening. “I think it will be after Labor Day when everyone is back to school and back from summer vacations,” he said. “We’ll wait till then, and by then, all the little punch-list items will be completed.”

In the meantime, he said work has almost been completed in removing old track and railroad ties from a future trail that will extend from Arrowhead Drive westward to Haggerty Road. Even though the trail’s design process isn’t complete, he believes that residents will be able to preview the path soon. “The trail will be graded smooth enough for the public to start walking on,” he said.

Reeves said West Bloomfield is participating in a statewide program called Walk Michigan this summer. Participants are gathering on Tuesdays at 7 p.m. and on Saturdays at 8:30 a.m. until July to walk along defined routes for activity and better health. On June 4, the walkers celebrated National Trails Day by walking along the length of the West Bloomfield trail, she said.

“We go all over,” Reeves said. “We hit a lot of our parks. We do some of the neighborhood walks.”

The sounds of summer will also fill the air at a “Hot Nights, Hot Music” promotion held at Marshbank Park this July and August. The park will hold five Wednesdays of evening concerts. The first one will be a Beatles tribute band called Toppermost, and it will be followed by the Gratitude Steel Band, The Groove Council and more.

“We always try to have different bands,” she said. “We kind of see if we can rotate a band if we haven’t had them in the last three years. Each week is kind of a different genre, too.”

She said Marshbank would also hold monthly “Kids Komotion” concerts that tend to be popular with families.

“We can get 300, 400, 500 people real fast,” she said. “We’re looking to see bigger numbers than we had.”

Marshbank Park is located at 2805 Hiller Road in West Bloomfield. You can learn more about West Bloomfield Parks and Recreation activities by visiting www.westbloomfieldparks.org or by calling (248) 451-1900.

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