Oakland County Parks wants kids to name new playground

Oakland County Parks announces its Playground Naming Contest. Entrants are asked to submit a name for the universally-accessible playscape currently under construction at Waterford Oaks County Park in Waterford. Michigan’s landscape is the theme of the nearly 13,000-square-foot structure featuring simulated rock, water and fossil characteristics indicative of the Great Lakes State.

Applicants must be age 12 or younger to participate. All entries must be postmarked or submitted via e-mail by Monday, March 15.

“Oakland County Parks invites participation in a fun contest to name what we hope becomes a favorite destination for kids and their families,” Melissa Prowse, business development representative, said. “We want to tap into new and exciting name ideas from creative, talented kids.”

The child who submits the winning name will receive a prize package valued at more than $200, which includes one week of outdoor day camp and an Oakland County Parks annual vehicle permit. The winner will also be invited to attend the grand opening of the playground on July 7.

The playscape features an “Up North woods” cabin, tree play structure, sand dunes area, marsh with climbing cattails, raised sand play area, horizontal and vertical climbing areas and rock climbing areas. To view a rendering of the playscape and for an entry form, click on: destinationoakland.com/thingstodo/playgrounds/Pages/WaterfordOaksPlaygrounds.aspx.

“It’s an innovative approach to providing a recreation opportunity to everyone,” Sandy Dorey, recreation program supervisor – therapeutics and adaptive recreation, said. “A mother pushing a stroller or a parent of a child with a disability will like the ease of the paved path. A level surface will give stability to a grandparent using a cane or walker.”

According to Dorey, there are 164,294 individuals with disabilities in Oakland County alone. The playground meets Americans with Disabilities Act requirements, addressing issues of accessibility and promoting inclusive play.

The Oakland County Parks and Recreation Commission received a $250,000 grant for the project through the Access to Recreation Initiative, funded by W.K. Kellogg Foundation and administered by the Michigan Recreation and Park Association Foundation. The parks commission contributed $310,000 from its one-quarter, 10-year millage fund.

Entries can be mailed to: Oakland County Parks, Playground Naming Contest, 2800 Watkins Lake Road, Waterford MI 48328 or submitted to Becky Stepp at steppr@oakgov.com.

The new playground at Waterford Oaks County Park is located off Scott Lake Road in Waterford.

On Aug. 3, 2010, Oakland County voters will be asked to vote on the renewal of a 10-year millage of .2415 for the purpose of operating, maintaining, improving and acquiring parks and recreation areas and facilities in Oakland County.