Oakland County Parks and Recreation Seeks Input on New 5-Year Parks and Recreation Master Plan

photo of wetlands at Independence Oaks North

We want your feedback! The new Oakland County Parks and Recreation (OCPR) 5-Year Parks and Recreation Master Plan is available online and OCPR is encouraging Oakland County residents to continue to share their feedback. Their plan will help build a more equitable, sustainable, and resilient future for OCPR by updating the strategic plan vision and mission by adding four core values to the 2023-2027 Recreation Plan.

The plan will guide OCPR staff and the Parks Commission in their efforts to provide high-quality recreational opportunities to Oakland County residents over the next five years. It follows the Guidelines for the Development of Community Park, Recreation, Open Space and Greenway Plans provided by the Grants Division of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and will replace the previous 5-year plan, which expires on December 31, 2022.

“The survey opened in mid-November, and we have been receiving great feedback so far. People are passionate about their local parks, and we know how much Oakland County residents rely on their parks for fitness, mental well-being, relaxation, and personal recreation. The Recreation Plan outlines the values and goals that will guide us as a public park system to provide quality, equitable experiences for all.”

-Donna Folland, Oakland County Parks and Recreation Supervisor of Planning and Resource Development

Public input has been important throughout the development process. Specifically, public comment is open until December 20, 2022, and feedback can be provided:

The 2023-2027 Recreation Plan updates OCPR’s strategic plan vision and mission, and adds four core values that will help to build an equitable, sustainable, and resilient future for OCPR:


Everyone in Oakland County has access to a park, public space, or recreational opportunity to relax, be active, socialize, and connect with nature.


We create and operate accessible, welcoming, and sustainable parks and public spaces, provide recreational and educational programs and opportunities, preserve open space and steward the environment to help all people be healthier and to build resilient, connected communities in Oakland County.

Core Values

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Evaluate all actions and decisions through the lens of equity and justice and provide parks and recreation services that feel safe and welcoming to everyone.

Health and Wellness

Increase access to the spaces and experiences that promote physical, mental and social health for all.

Environmental Sustainability and Natural Resources Stewardship

Plan, build, and operate our parks and services in a sustainable manner while collaborating with local communities. Care for the natural environment, preserve land and open space for future generations, meet current recreation needs without compromising the future, and build community resilience to climate change.

Fiscal Responsibility and Organizational Excellence

Implement our mission with a robust, innovative, and diverse parks and recreation organization and ground our decisions in sound fiscal policy.

Highlights of the New Recreation Plan:

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and Health and Wellness

This plan, approved by the Oakland County Board of Commissioners in October 2022, allocates $15 million in county American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds for improving park and outdoor recreational spaces in areas of the county that were most negatively impacted by the pandemic. OCPR has committed another $5.2 million in funds to support the projects and partnerships outlined in the proposal, resulting in a total investment of over $20 million. This plan and the associated funding will dramatically improve OCPR’s ability to reach and serve a wider, more diverse population.

  • Oakland County Farmers Market Modernization and Improvement Project

OCPR has submitted a congressional appropriation request to fund major improvements to the Oakland County Farmers Market, including increasing accessibility, creating a new program space for educational activities, developing a commercial kitchen for popular cooking demonstrations, building accessible/family restrooms, and improving the overall site with storm water management and demonstration gardens.

  • Water Access

Oakland County residents love to swim and enjoy the water. OCPR aims to continue to expand public access to water by: improving its beaches, shorelines, docks and fishing piers; offering kayak and canoe rentals, and other programs that get people out on the water; and by working with community partners to identify new opportunities for kayak and canoe access in Oakland County.

Environmental Sustainability and Natural Resources Stewardship

  • Nature Preserves

Natural resources preservation has long been a priority for the Parks Commission. OCPR will designate its most precious natural parks as Nature Preserves and develop standards and protocols for management and access. This includes the planned acquisition of the 70-acre Turtle Woods property in Troy.

  • Environmental Sustainability

In 2022, OCPR created a Chief of Environmental Sustainability and Natural Resources role and a Sustainability Committee, made up of staff and Commissioners, to help meet today’s recreation needs without compromising the future.

Fiscal Responsibility and Organizational Excellence

OCPR has several buildings that are costly to maintain and have limited or no usage by the public. OCPR will review these facilities and examine alternatives to determine how to eliminate subsidy of private events and increase public access, use, and awareness of these assets.

  • Waterparks

Red Oaks and Waterford Oaks Waterparks are well-loved destinations in need of significant investment, or a more modest investment coupled with an adjustment in focus and operation. OCPR will review detailed facility condition assessments for both waterparks and examine alternatives to determine how to meet public need and be fiscally sustainable.

Person using tube in wave pool

For more information about the 2023-2027 5-Year Parks and Recreation Plan, please click here.

For more information, visit Oakland County Parks and Recreation’s website. Follow along with them for programs, events, and news on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

All photos are courtesy of Oakland County Parks and Recreation.

Oakland County offers residents quality, affordable housing in welcoming neighborhoods with access to parks and recreation, public transportation, and healthy food as part of the Livable Neighborhoods goal in our five-year road map. Follow the Oakland County Executive Office on Facebook and Twitter for updates and visit our dashboard to see the progress being made to ensure Oakland County is All Ways, Moving Forward.

Follow along with Oakland County on FacebookInstagramLinkedInPinterest, Twitter, and YouTube using #OaklandCounty, or visit our website for news and services year-round.

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