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Letter to Editor: Thanks for considering ORV park



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August 28, 2013 - For the past few months, Oakland County Parks and Recreation staff had been meeting with local officials and residents to introduce an opportunity the parks system had to collaborate with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

About 860 acres, of a 1,200-acre parcel owned by Koenig Sand and Gravel, would have been acquired by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and developed and operated by Oakland County Parks. In April, the MDNR submitted a Michigan Natural Trust Fund grant application outlining how the property was an ideal site for adventure recreation experiences. The MDNR would have acquired the property only if the grant was awarded and an appropriate operational lease was reached.

The proposed concept included off-road vehicles, equestrian trails, mountain biking, zip-lines, aerial trekking, scuba diving, water-based events, recreation fields, a dog park and a nature preserve/watershed protection area.

Oakland County Parks undertook a public engagement process that included presentations to eight public boards, three public charrettes and two public hearings. Staff also talked to about 500 visitors to its booth at Oxford Days and posted information on its website DestinationOakland.com.

During this time, there were also several articles in the Oxford Leader that kept the community apprised of the proposed park. We feel the coverage provided an accurate representation of both the parks system's proposed plans for the site and the public's input.

Ultimately, there was not complete community support for the project. The Oxford Township Board voted not to support the MDNR grant application for the acquisition, ending the proposal to develop an adventure recreation park in Oxford.

We thank the residents of Oxford for the opportunity to present this concept and hear feedback on your recreational needs. We invite you to visit the 13 Oakland County Parks. To learn more about the recreation opportunities available, click on DestinationOakland.com.

Daniel J. Stencil, CPRE

Executive Officer

Oakland County Parks and Recreation Commission

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