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Jan. 18, 2017
Oakland County Parks and Recreation Commission elects 2017 officersThe Oakland County Parks & Recreation Commission elected 2017officers at its Jan. 11 meeting. A new commissioner, Hugh D. Crawford, joins the board for 2017.
Gerald A. Fisher from Clarkson will continue in the role of chairman. J. David VanderVeen from Clarkston was re-elected vice chairman. VanderVeen, director of Oakland County Central Services, serves as Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Pattersons representative on the commission. Ron Fowkes, chairman of the Road Commission of Oakland County from Milford, was elected secretary. All will serve in their roles through Dec. 31, 2017.
Also serving on the Oakland County Parks and Recreation Commission are:
A. David Baumhart III from Bloomfield Hills Hugh D. Crawford, Oakland County Commissioner from Novi Robert E. Kostin from Clarkston Christine Long, Oakland County Commissioner from Commerce Township Gary R. McGillivray, Oakland County Commissioner from Madison Heights Jim Nash, Oakland County Water Resources Commissioner from Farmington Hills David W. Potts from Birmingham
The Oakland County Board of Commissioners on Jan. 11 confirmed two-year Parks and Recreation Commission appointments for Crawford, Fisher, Long and McGillivray.
Crawford will replace John Scott of Waterford on the Parks Commission. Scott, who served as commission secretary, was first appointed to the commission in 2009. A county commissioner for 14 years, he has served as Personnel Appeal Board chairperson, member of the BOC Planning & Building Committee, Public Services Committee, Coordinating Zoning Committee as well as the Parks and Recreation Commission.
Crawford was first elected of the Oakland County Board of Commissioners in 2000. He was then elected to the Michigan House of Representative serving three terms from 2009-15. He was elected back to the Oakland County Board of Commissioners beginning January 2015. Prior to his election to the house, Crawford served on the Novi City Council for 15 years, as mayor pro tem for eight years. He was also a member of Novi Parks and Recreation Committee for 10 years, serving as chair for six years.
Hugh D. CrawfordA. David Baumhart III
David W. Potts
Robert E. Kostin Christine Long
Jim NashGary R. McGillivray
J. David Vanderveen
OCP Accessibility projects win top state awards
Oakland County Parks has won two mParks (Michigan Recreation and Park Association) state-wide awards, one for OCPs efforts to increase water and trail access for its parks visitor of all abilities and the other for the uniquely designed hay wagons which are accessible to people of all abilities. The awards will be presented Feb. 3 at the mParks annual conference.
The hay wagons were awarded the Golden Wrench award which recognizes resourceful staff members who have designed an inventive or resourceful cost or labor saving device. The new increased accessibility projects in the park were selected for mParks Park Design award.
The creation of the accessible hay wagons was a collective effort by the OCP team of Skilled Maintenance Mechanic Mike Couturier, Grounds Equipment Mechanic Walt Dean, Automobile Mechanic Steven Dendler, Recreation Program Supervisor Sandy Dorey, Maintenance Supervisor Colin Gibbs, Maintenance Supervisor Jen Myers and General Maintenance Mechanic Ken Stratton.
Unable to purchase such universally accessible wagons, the two new wagons were created using car trailers. The back door folds down becoming a ramp for wheelchair access and many seniors who find steps difficult. A hand rail gives added support to those walking up the ramp. As this was the first season for the wagons, additional enhancements are continuing to be made. A second handrail is planned for each wagon so that a caregiver walking a rider up the ramp will also
have a handrail for support. Sand was mixed with paint on the ramp of the wagon to provide a
non-slick surface for caregivers providing assistance and those with walkers.
Special latches were built to lock the wheelchairs in place. The two benches on either side are open on one end to allow someone in a wheelchair to transfer onto the bench if they prefer.
Each wagon holds 20 people including two wheelchairs. The new wagons have been added to the parks systems fleet, providing additional recreational opportunities for park visitors.
Recreation Program Supervisor Sandy Dorey has used the wagons for several events including adaptive and senior programs. The seniors at the Buhl Estate historical tours at Addison Oaks County Park gave us many rave reviews, she said. Many of them had not been on a wagon ride in years. The design of the new wagons made it easy for them to walk right up the ramp. Most wagons have steps that are difficult to maneuver.
Dorey said at a parks campground program, a grandparent was able to join the family for a ride because of the wagons accessibility.
The Park Design award was given to a collection of projects at Addison, Groveland and Independence that included Aamericans with Disabilties Act parking spaces and accessible routes constructed to ADA guidelines. These opened up to all such recreation opportunities such as kayaking, fishing, boating and nature hikes.
OCP staff members were successful in obtaining grants to offset the cost of these projects. A fishing dock and a kayak launch were added to Addison Oaks County Park with funding provided by a Recreation Passport grant. This Department of Natural Resources program funds projects that get more people outside more often to enjoy the many natural resources and outdoor recreation opportunities available in Michigan. The fishing dock was completed in spring 2016 and the kayak launch previous fall.
Natural Resources Trust Fund Grants were used to construct a fishing dock at Groveland Oaks County Park and a kayak launch at Independence Oaks County Park. These grants provide monies for plans that further access to public outdoor recreation. The fishing dock was recently completed and the kayak launch was completed last fall.Staff managed and installed the projects. They created a boardwalk leading up to the docks and built a special foundation to compensate for the soft ground near the water.
This focus on providing more access to trails and water came as a result of a recent public survey that showed residents top priorities for parks was maintenance and trails. New universally accessible trails now lead to universally accessible recreation opportunities.
The newly created hay wagons now provide accessibility for all. Each wagon provides a ramp for those who find stairs difficult and special wheelchair accommodations.
A fishing dock and a kayak launch were added to Addison Oaks County Park with funding provided by Recreation Passport grant. The project was part of an overall accessibility plan to provide trail and water recreation for all.
Annual meeting reviews past, presents futureSeventy OCPR employees attending the Annual Staff Meeting Dec. 9 at Addison Oaks celebrated accomplishments of 2016 with a preview of the annual report and heard an overview of the proposed rebranding by Skidmore Studio. The afternoon session included a presentation from historical corps volunteer Carol Egbo who told the history of Addison Oaks and the Buhl Estate followed by tours of the estate and campground operation.
Santa and his elves (l-r) Chief of Park Facilities Maintenance and Development Mike Donnellon, Chief of Recreation Programs and Services Brandy Boyd, Recreation Program Supervisor John Haney and Chief Parks Operations and Maintenance North District Jim Dunleavy led the raffle and auction at the annual Parks and Recreation Holiday Party, raising $406 for HAVEN.
As Oakland Countys only comprehensive program for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, HAVEN provides shelter, counseling, advocacy and educational programming to nearly 20,000 people each year. Also serving on the party committee were Office Assistant Katie Bontinen, Recreation Program Supervisor
Lynn Conover, Office Assistant Andrea Craft, Recreation Program Supervisor Sandy Dorey, Central Employee Records Coordinator Ariane Fountain, Parks Naturalist Sarah Hudson, Chief Parks Operations and Maintenance South District Tom Hughes, Recreation Specialist Melissa Nawrocki, Office Assistant Shanna Shelby and Manager of Parks and Recreation Operations Sue Wells with help from Lifeguard Becca Dorey. The event was catered by MMD from Springfield Oaks.
The Communications and Marketing team summed up their year by wearing shirts to the annual meeting which declared I survived the 50th. Pictured here are (back row l-r)Technical Assistant Jane Peterson, Communications and Market Assistant Mary Zednik, Technical Assistant Pat Lindsay, Communications and Market Assistant Meagan Murphy, Supervisor Communications and Marketing Desiree Stanfield, (front row) Graphic Artist Carol Shoemaker, Graphic Artist Garrett Ebbeling, Parks Helper Tara Perry and Technical Assistant Pat Brockway.
A makeup session is set for Thursday, Jan. 26, 8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. in the Commission Room. The meeting is mandatory for full-time staff and optional but encouraged for part time. Register for the makeup session with Stephanie Mackey at MackeyS@oakgov.com or 248-431-1268.
Holiday party nets gift for HAVEN
OCP makes holidays happy for abandoned animalsThank you to everyone who donated to the 3rd Annual Pet Foodraiser for the Oakland County Animal Control & Pet Adoption Center. Our combined $157 purchased 255 pounds of dog and cat food which was dropped off December 21.
Special thanks to Parks Commissioner Robert Kostin a