Looking for a place to spend a day on the greens, chipping, putting, and traveling across a beautiful golf course? You’re in luck because five Oakland County Parks maintain splendid golf courses. Whether you’re interested in the Arthur Hills-designed course of Lyon Oaks, a women’s league, beginner lessons, or a fast nine-holes at Red Oaks, Oakland County Parks has something to offer golfers of all ages and experience levels.
Wilder Side of Oakland County
“Wherever I go, I see little bits of nature, little bits of animal behavior. And nobody else is watching…” Those are the words of iconic conservationist Jane Goodall in her 2018 interview titled, “Living with Chimps” that appears in the BBC publication, Science Focus. I had just finished reading the text of her interview last Friday about her controversial career and how her observations transformed the way we see our primate cousins. It was then time to head off to Springfield Oaks County Park for the grand opening of the 2018 Oakland County Fair. Jane Goodall was not on my mind nor was wildlife observation, but sometimes things change quickly.
Springfield Oaks County Park is not where folks generally go to embrace the wilds of nature or seek solitude. Springfield Oaks bustles with popular crowd oriented activities. The Oakland County Parks website makes no mention of passive nature exploration at their 333-acre multi-use park, but quite correctly boasts of the crowd-attracting venues:
“Springfield Oaks is home of the historic Ellis Barn and annual Oakland County Fair, which draws 100,000+ visitors annually to the 10-day event. The 1884 Ellis Barn is 14,000-square-feet and features an indoor riding arena, 11 box stalls, mechanical exercise ring and cavernous second floor for hay and straw. The barn was donated by former major league baseball players Kirk Gibson and Tim Birtsas and moved from its original located on Dixie Highway to Springfield Oaks in 2005. Today, the barn is used to host weddings and special events like the Ellis Barn Dance and the Michigan Antique Festival. The park also offers a multipurpose room for banquets, reunions and seminars as well as exhibit hall space. The grounds include two outdoor arenas.”
The annual Oakland County Fair is nearly here! From July 6 to July 15, 2018, people from all across Michigan will be arriving on the fairgrounds at Springfield Oaks County Park in Davisburg, Michigan to celebrate over a week of family-friendly fun. With a few new events, as well as many returning favorites, this year’s fair is surely going to be Oakland County’s hottest July destination spot.
WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY
“Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you-all?” That’s the classic ghostly call of the Barred Owl, an owl very much at home in Oakland County. The rising and falling melody with a hint of a southern drawl in the last few syllables reminds naturalists that the owl’s breeding season is here. Yet, others less admiring of the raucous chorus of barred owls hooting back and forth may describe the sounds as the music of a troop of rowdy monkeys. That description is very close to the truth.
Follow the Cornell Lab of Ornithology link to hear the calls of barred owls: https://www.allaboutbirds.org/search/?q=barred%20owl%20soundsowl/sounds
Every now and then, a hiker might hear or even see a barred owl perched on a tree limb in daylight. Oakland County Parks, Huron-Clinton Metroparks and the State Recreation Areas of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (located in Oakland County) all host these beautiful raptors of the night. Barred owls favor wooded wetlands with nearby open areas for hunting; that means trailside swaths of Addison Oaks, Highland Oaks, Independence Oaks, Lyon Oaks, Rose Oaks and Springfield Oaks county parks are perfect barred owl habitats.
Please visit our updated Oakland County Fair 2015 blog post for a current schedule of events.
Last year over 110,000 visited the Oakland County Fair at Springfield Oaks Park in Davisburg.
Those that attend this years fair will not only have the chance to experience the excitement of the “Night of Destruction” demolition derby, and the thrill of midway carnival rides, they will also see the rich agricultural heritage of the region in the projects and displays of the youth in Oakland County 4H clubs. Continue reading