Oakland Parks now has 186 more acres

Oakland County Parks and Recreation has
its hands on 186 acres of new parkland near Clarkston, but it has its
eyes on more opportunities in both the northern and southern sections
of the county.

The county department recently bought 186 acres
for $2.8 million, with $945,000 of that coming from the state. The land
is adjacent to Independence Oaks County Park. The expansion will bring
the park to 1,274 acres, making it the largest park in a county that
already has 13 parks with 6,686 acres under its control.

The
land includes 31-acre Upper Bushman Lake and a number of trails and
camping areas. The idea is that expanding this portion will bring
nature to more children in Metro Detroit. The space should be ready for
use by late this year or early 2011.

“Our goal is to get more young people outdoors,” says Dan Stencil, executive officer for Oakland County Parks and Recreation.

The
department is also looking at opportunities to expand its park
offerings in both the northern section of the county (where most of the
parkland is located) and in the denser, urban areas to the south. One
of the projects it is eyeing is the proposed rail trail from downtown Royal Oak to Birmingham.

Source: Dan Stencil, executive officer for Oakland County Parks and Recreation
Writer: Jon Zemke