Oakland County parks acquires five acres in Waterford

The Oakland County Parks and Recreation Commission acquired five acres of property adjacent to Waterford Oaks County Park at the intersection Scott Lake and Watkins Lake roads on July 17.

The property was formally owned by Steve Ernst, owner of the Ernst Greenhouse. The business was founded in 1942 on the site.

“Oakland County Parks plans to incorporate the parcel into Waterford Oaks County Park to preserve the land as green space for future generations to enjoy,” ?Dan Stencil, executive officer, said.

Oakland County Parks purchased the property for $1 million. The parcel includes 36,000 square feet of greenhouse space and the Ernst family barn.

“The property has great potential for the development of a horticulture program for educational and recreational programs,” Jon Noyes, Supervisor — Planning, said. “There is also an opportunity to realign the park entrance with the Watkins Lake Road traffic light to ensure safer access to the park.”

Oakland County Parks plans to reuse some of the greenhouse facilities in partnership with academic institutions, conservation groups, government agencies and professional organizations.

Ernst Greenhouse Volunteer Kick-off Day is scheduled to introduce volunteers to the greenhouses from 9 a.m. — noon on August 29. Volunteers are needed to inventory plants and equipment and begin planting in September. To register or for more information about volunteering, call Rachel Meyers at (248) 975-9717 or e-mail meyersr@oakgov.com.

For more information on Oakland County Parks, visit www.DestinationOakland.com.