When Oakland County Parks and Recreation staff noticed that Catalpa Oaks County Park visitors were walking around the perimeter of the park so much that they had worn a path in the grass, they knew an upgrade was needed. On Friday, Oct. 2, a new walking path, as well as soccer field upgrades, were officially dedicated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
“Engagement with our stakeholders has consistently indicated that multi-use trails are the highest requested amenities for parks,” Oakland County Parks and Recreation Chairman Gary McGillivray said. “In this case, a landscape berm around the park perimeter had been frequently used by walkers and joggers resulting in an existing informal dirt path. It just made sense that we would move forward with building a pathway.”
Commissioners invested $702,000 in construction of the .6-mile aggregate perimeter pathway. The path not only makes walking at the park more enjoyable for recreation and exercise, it increases accessibility for residents.
“The new trail’s crushed stone surface features Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant grades and accessible concrete entry points to allow users of all abilities,” Executive Officer Dan Stencil said. “Meeting the diverse needs of Oakland County communities and ensuring that everyone is able to enjoy our natural resources remains our top priority.”
The project also includes concrete pathways that connect into existing neighborhood sidewalks and the Greenfield Road sidewalk.
With the soccer field work, two of the four fields now have improved drainage and irrigation designed to improve turf quality and increase playability of the fields, which were created prior to Oakland County Parks and Recreation’s management. They were built from clay construction material from development of the 1-696 highway. The fields, which host more than 30,000 visitors annually, will open for play in spring 2021.
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