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Follow the trail through the woods and collect treats at Trick or Trees

Costumed children are invited to trick or treat through Suarez Friendship Woods Saturday, Oct. 27 from 5-7:30 p.m. at Red Oaks Nature Center in Madison Heights at the annual Trick or Trees.

Hosted by Oakland County Parks and Recreation, the event will feature popular costumed characters along the trick-or-treat trail, cider, donuts, face painting and the discovery of nature’s nocturnal wonders. Cost is $5/child if registered before 5 p.m. Oct. 24. After the deadline, cost will be $7/child. Adults are $1.

To register, call 248-858-0916 during business hours. For more information, contact NawrockiM@oakgov.com.

Red Oaks Nature Center is located at 30300 Hales St. in Madison Heights. Parking is available for Trick or Trees at Red Oaks Waterpark with a free shuttle to the nature center.

For information on other events, visit OaklandCountyParks.com. Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Oakland County cities, townships recognized for entrepreneurial climate, job growth

The iLab's eCities research group at UM-Dearborn, which analyzes the influence of entrepreneurship, economic development, and job growth, released its annual study that recognizes communities that create inviting business environments and encourage entrepreneurial growth and highlights how local governments are supporting and growing the business climate.

Some of the communities that received a five-star designation in Oakland County include Troy, Rochester Hills, and Huntington Woods; Berkley, Pontiac and Madison Heights are a few cities designated as four-star.

“It is a great benefit when residents can access the products and types of businesses within the city limits,” Berkley City Manager Matt Baumgarten said in a release. “We will continue to work toward maintaining a positive environment that fosters creativity and sustainability for Berkley’s entrepreneurs and all businesses to thrive in.”

According to eCities, the projected entailed researchers at iLabs, University of Michigan-Dearborn’s Center for Innovation Research in the College of Business collecting data on 277 communities and their development. Then a panel with backgrounds in entrepreneurship, development, and government selected the ones to be recognized as the top communities.

Canines and owners invited to special Dog Swims at Oakland County Parks

Oakland County Parks and Recreation’s waterparks will go to the dogs during the annual Dog Swims Sept. 9-10.
Sponsored by Camp Bow Wow in cooperation with Oakland Veterinary Referral Services, dog swims will be held:
  • Saturday, Sept. 9 – Waterford Oaks Waterpark, 1702 Scott Lake Road., Waterford
  • Sunday, Sept. 10 – Red Oaks Waterpark, 1455 E. 13 Mile Road., Madison Heights
Dog swims are divided into 50-minute sessions beginning at noon. Dogs will be grouped according to weight. All owners must show a valid Michigan dog license and proof of vaccinations at time of event. Each time slot will be limited to 75 dogs. Check in is 30 minutes prior to scheduled swim. Health department rules mandate no people are allowed in the water.
Registration forms are available at OaklandCountyParks.com. The cost for pre-registration is $10 and includes a souvenir for the dog’s owner, waterpark entry, a swim session for the dog and contest entry. Contests will include best wet look and best swimsuit.  Mailed registration must be postmarked by Sept. 1. Email or fax registration accepted through noon, Sept. 6. On-site registration will be $15, based on availability.
For additional details email Dogs@oakgov.com.
Visit OaklandCountyParks.com for more information. Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Oakland County Parks and Recreation lifeguards honored for saving a life

Teamwork and training synched when lifeguards at Red Oaks Waterpark in Madison Heights pulled an unconscious swimmer from the water in mid-June.

“The lifeguard on duty noticed an 11-year-old male in the water not moving. The lifeguard responded, performed a save and opened the boy’s air way.  The child did not show signs of breathing so the lifeguard administered rescue breaths in water, while a team of lifeguards responded and removed the child from the wave pool,” Matt Pardy, Red Oaks Park Supervisor, said.
According to Pardy, once the child was on the pool’s deck, lifeguards performed an assessment and determined the child had a pulse but was not showing signs of breathing.  Using a bag-valve-mask and oxygen, lifeguards administered rescue breaths for the child.  Prior to the two-minute reassessment, the child began to cough/vomit up water and regained consciousness. EMS transported the child to a hospital where he was examined and released later in the evening having made a full recovery. The incident occurred on June 15 at 12:19 p.m.
“The Red Oaks lifeguards acted decisively in the rescue, expertly applying their training and following the established emergency action plan.  These efforts resulted in a child's life saved.  We enthusiastically congratulate these lifeguards for their service as they exemplify what it means to be a professional lifeguard,” Luke Martinez of Jeff Ellis & Associates said.

Oakland County Parks and Recreation’s 100 lifeguards are trained through Jeff Ellis & Associates International Lifeguard Training Program. Ellis is an aquatic safety and risk management consultant.

For their participation in saving the child’s life, six lifeguards were honored with the Lifeguard in Action Award from Ellis & Associates.

Individuals who received this honor are:  
•Joshua Turner - Waterford
•Dilon Lemond - Davisburg
•Sam Kuznia – Royal Oak
•Joe Heaton - Roseville
•Rebecca Dorey - Clawson
•Zach Owczarzak – Clarkston
“The Lifeguard in Action award is given to lifeguards who positively contribute to the efforts of a team (or acting individually) in saving a life.  While there may be many examples of this every year, we look to highlight individuals who either performed exceptionally well or went above and beyond to get the positive outcome,” Martinez said. “It is hard to articulate this as there are a lot of intangibles. Suffice it to say that we do not give these awards out very often, which I think adds to the meaningfulness of the honor.”

Joshua Turner and Dilon Lemond were recognized by the Oakland County Parks and Recreation Commission at its July 12 Commission meeting.

“Joshua and Dilon were the first two lifeguards to recognize the distressed boy in the water and respond to render first aid. They were the critical first step in saving this child’s life,” Sue Wells, Manager of Park and Recreation Operations, said. “The Parks Commission wanted to honor these young men for their dedication to their job and commitment to safety.”

Turner and Lemond are assigned to work at Waterford Oaks Waterpark in Waterford, but had been assisting at Red Oaks Waterpark the day of the incident.

Oakland County Parks and Recreation provides 100 lifeguards to monitor the aquatic safety of its 215,000 annual visitors at two waterparks and one beach. Lifeguards are on duty through Labor Day at Red Oaks Waterpark in Madison Heights, Waterford Oaks Waterpark in Waterford and Groveland Oaks County Park Beach near Holly.

OCPR’s lifeguard staff has received Ellis & Associates International Aquatic Safety Awards for exceptional safety every year since 2010.
For details on upcoming events and activities, visit OaklandCountyParks.comGet social with Oakland County Parks and Recreation on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Oakland County expands Nurse-Family Partnership program

Low-income women in Southfield, Oak Park, Hazel Park, and Madison Heights who are pregnant with their first child will have access to the one-on-one support they need to have a healthy pregnancy and improve their child’s health and development. Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson announced today the expansion of the Oakland County Health Division’s Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) program which provides a public health nurse early in pregnancy and continues ongoing home visits until the child is two years old.

“Pregnant women and infants who have access to nursing care are less likely to develop health and other complications later on,” Patterson said. “That’s why it was a no-brainer to expand this program into other communities with vulnerable populations.”

A public health nurse helps first-time moms:
• Have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby
• Build a strong network of support
• Make the home a safe place for baby to live and play
• Get referrals for healthcare, childcare, job training, and other support services
• Find ways to continue education and develop job skills
• Set goals for the future and find ways to help reach them

“The Nurse-Family Partnership program helps develop strong family foundations that contribute to healthier and stronger communities in Oakland County,” said Leigh-Anne Stafford, health officer for Oakland County. “Partnering first-time moms with our public health nurses empowers them to create a better life for their children and themselves.”

NFP received grant funding from the Michigan Department of Education to begin serving single first-time moms in Southfield, Oak Park, Hazel Park, and Madison Heights.

The program has been a model of success in Pontiac. Since inception in 2004, NFP has served nearly 730 Pontiac families. Some notable achievements of the program include an improvement in the number of babies born at a healthier birth weight, a decreased number of mothers smoking during pregnancy, and increased rate of breastfeeding, and all Pontiac NFP children being fully immunized by 24 months of age.

Referrals are now being accepted. To enroll, one must qualify as a low-income woman who lives in the cities of Pontiac, Southfield, Oak Park, Hazel Park, or Madison Heights, and are less than 28 weeks pregnant with her first baby.

For more information or to enroll in this free program, call the Oakland County Health Division’s Nurse-Family Partnership Program at 248-858-1406. Nurse on Call is also available to answer questions at 800-848-5533. To learn more, go to OakGov.com/Health, select the services tab and click on Nurse-Family Partnership.

Google teams up with local elementary school to teach kids coding


When Asiana Ali found out she and all 4th and 5th graders would learn computer coding at Madison Elementary in Madison Heights, she didn’t think much of it.

"I want to be a clothing designer,” said Ali.
Then her class learned how to bring things imagined to life on the computer screen.

“After a few weeks of it, I thought I probably could use this stuff,” said Ali.

Her elementary school class inspired a vision for the future.

Read more.

Oakland County Parks offers group rate on 2016 annual vehicle permits

Oakland County Parks and Recreation is offering a group discount rate on its 2016 annual vehicle permits when purchased in lots of 25 or more.

Aimed at businesses, neighborhood associations and other large groups, the discount provides a financial break when the permits are purchased in volume. Purchased individually, the permits are $30 each. The discounted prices are $25 each for 25-100 permits; $20 each for 101-250 permits; or $15 each for 251-500 permits.

The permits provide access to these eight Oakland County Parks that house 68 miles of trails, nature centers, dog parks, beaches and other amenities:
  • Addison Oaks – Leonard
  • Groveland Oaks – Holly
  • Highland Oaks – Highland
  • Independence Oaks – Clarkston
  • Lyon Oaks – Wixom
  • Orion Oaks – Orion Township
  • Rose Oaks – Holly
  • Red Oaks Dog Park and Nature Center – Madison Heights 
In addition, vehicle permit holders receive free entry to the Fourth of July fireworks at Addison Oaks and Groveland Oaks county parks, as well as free parking at the Oakland County Fair on two Oakland County Parks Days in 2016 at Springfield Oaks County Park.

The 2016 annual vehicle permits are valid through Dec. 31, 2016. Contact program administrator Karen Kohn at 258-858-4606 or kohnk@oakgov.com for details.

Oakland County Parks and Recreation is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2016. Throughout the years, the parks system has grown to include more than 6,700 acres of preserved park land within 13 parks. The parks offer residents a wide variety of year-round recreation opportunities. Featured within the parks system are two nature centers, five golf courses, two waterparks, three dog parks, two campgrounds, a BMX track and the Oakland County Market.
Oakland County Parks events can be found on DestinationOakland.com. Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @DestinationOak.

Health division kicks off flu season

Oakland County Health Division (OCHD) will once again offer the flu vaccine that guards against four flu viruses this season beginning Tuesday, Oct. 6. This year's vaccine protects against Type A H1N1, H3N2, and two Type B strains which are most likely to occur this season.  

"Our goal is to keep our residents healthy," said Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson. "We urge them to take the necessary precautions against the flu this season and every season."

"Get a flu shot to protect yourself and loved ones," said Kathy Forzley, OCHD health officer/manager. "The flu typically takes the lives of 36,000 Americans a year. Getting an annual flu shot lessens the chance of getting the flu and protects the community around you."

Flu shots cost $25. The high-dose flu shot recommended for those 65 years and older is $37 and is covered by Medicare. Flu shots will be available at Health Division offices in Pontiac and Southfield from Noon – 8 p.m. Mondays and 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays beginning on Tuesday, Oct. 6. Walk-in clients are welcome. You may also pay online and register for a flu shot at www.oakgov.com/health.

The Health Division will also hold six walk-in community outreach clinics at the following locations:
  • Oct. 13, 3 p.m. – 7 p.m.
    Walled Lake Community Ed, 615 N. Pontiac Trail, Walled Lake
  • Oct. 14, 3 p.m. – 7 p.m.
    Clarkston High School, 6093 Flemings Lake Road, Clarkston
  • Oct. 15, 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
    Madison Heights Senior Center, 29448 John R, Madison Heights
  • Oct. 20, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. 
    Costick Center, 28600 11 Mile Road, Farmington Hills
  • Oct. 21, 3 p.m. – 7 p.m. 
    Huron Valley Sinai Hospital, 1 William Carls Dr., Commerce
  • Oct. 27, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. 
    Troy Community Center, 3179 Livernois, Troy
Community outreach clinics are walk-in only, no registration is required.

Payment options for the flu vaccine include Visa, MasterCard, some health insurances, Medicare, and/or Medicaid (no checks or money orders). Credit card fees apply. Please bring all insurance cards with you to the clinic.

The Health Division offices are located at the following addresses:
  • North Oakland Health Center, 1200 N. Telegraph Road, Building 34 East, Pontiac
  • South Oakland Health Center, 27725 Greenfield Road, Southfield
For up-to-date information, visit www.oakgov.com/health, follow the Health Division on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter @publichealthOC, or call the Health Division's Flu Shot Hotline at 800-434-3358. Nurse on Call is also available to answer questions at 800-848-5533. 

Meet Disney Channel star Peyton List at Red Oaks Waterpark

Visitors to Red Oaks Waterpark will be chanting “Hey, Emma” on Saturday, Aug. 8 when Peyton List, the actress who portrays Emma Ross on the Disney Channel’s wildly popular show Jessie, will meet and greet fans from 1-4 p.m.
List, who has played the role of Emma on Jessie since 2011, will autograph photos and pose for pictures. She also stars in the new Disney Channel show call Bunk’d premiering on Friday, July 31 at 10 p.m.

“We are thrilled to welcome Peyton List to Red Oaks Waterpark. We know that she has many fans in this area and we want to invite them to meet Peyton in person and enjoy the day at the waterpark,” Park Supervisor Matt Pardy said. “Fans will receive a photo of Peyton List courtesy of Oakland County Parks and they can have the photo signed when they meet her.”

Parents can bring cameras and snap photos of their children with the actress as well.

Red Oaks Waterpark is the perfect place for a meet and greet on a hot summer day. The waterpark features a wave-action pool, a water play area for toddlers, a triple-flume waterslide, the River Ride and Soak Station and a children’s water playground with 68 interactive activities, including water jets, curtains and slides, plus bubbler jets and a six-foot tipping bucket.

A special Kids Meal will be available throughout the day at the Blue Water Grill. Designed for children ages 12 and under, meals are a choice of chicken tenders or a small hamburger paired with fries and a soft drink for $5. The Blue Water Grill also offers cool treats like MiniMelts ice cream, Hawaiian Shaved Ice and a souvenir cup with free refills throughout summer.

Admission to the waterpark is required. Weekend/holiday rates are $13/Oakland County residents with valid proof and $18/regular rate. The waterpark, located at 1455 East 13 Mile Road in Madison Heights, is open 10 a.m.-7 p.m. on weekends.

Visit DestinationOakland.com for more information. Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @DestinationOak.

Registration open for Junior FootGolf Program

Keep children active this summer by enrolling them in the Junior FootGolf Program at Red Oaks County Park.
FootGolf is a fun activity that combines the popular sports of soccer and golf. Participants use soccer balls on a traditional golf course with 21-inch diameter cups. Play largely corresponds to the rules of golf.
Held on Fridays from July 10-Aug. 7, the Junior FootGolf Program includes instruction on fundamentals, course etiquette, games and 9 holes of FootGolf play. The action starts at 6 p.m. each week at Red Oaks Golf Course.
Each participant will also receive a league discount card to be used toward green fees and a 9-hole voucher for a future visit.
The program fee is $82 and pre-registration is required. Pre-pay by July 3 and save $5.
Red Oaks Golf Course is located 29600 John R (just north of 12 Mile Road) in Madison Heights.
For more information, call 248.541.5030
Visit DestinationOakland.com for the registration form and more information. Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @DestinationOak.

Oakland County Parks receives state awards

Oakland County Parks and Recreation was honored with six awards at the Michigan Recreation and Parks Association (MPRA) annual banquet in February in Lansing.
According to MRPA, these accolades recognize exemplary park and recreation professionals and citizen advocates. Honorees embody the core values of the profession, demonstrate the highest level of performance in their job duties and maintain a tremendous commitment to MRPA, according to MRPA Operating Officer Ann Conklin
“As a parks system, we work collaboratively to provide excellent parks and unique recreation opportunities for Oakland County residents and surrounding communities. The receipt of these awards is made possible because of Oakland County Parks’ staff’s passion for their jobs,” Executive Officer of Oakland County Parks and Recreation executive Officer Dan Stencil said.
The successful nominations were submitted by Oakland County Parks:
Marketing Awards
Outstanding Video: Dixie Gully Run
The video was produced to promote the collaboration between OCP, Groveland Township and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to recycle a portion of a mining operation facility to a proposed adventure park. OCP hosted two events for ORVers to test the track and provide feedback. The video was posted to OCP’s Facebook page as a means to attract people to register for a public event.
Media Advocate: Lisa LaGrou, Oakland County Moms
As creator of mom blog OaklandCountyMoms.com, LaGrou has been featuring family events in Oakland County for nearly 10 years. She is a staunch supporter of outdoor activities for children including events through Oakland County Parks and Recreation. LaGrou is a family source for media in the area and is regularly featured on WDIV’s “Live in the D” program with hosts Guy Gordon and Karen Drew as part of the Live in the D Mom panel.
Professional Awards
State Elected Official: Ruth Johnson, Michigan Secretary of State
OCP nominated Ruth Johnson who has proven that she is a constant supporter of outdoor recreation. She advocates for the DNR’s Recreation Passport, the pass for entrance to state parks, recreation areas, state forest campgrounds and non-motorized trail heads and boat launches. Because of her work, residents when renewing their license plates can now simply check the “yes” box on the license plate form to get their recreation passport.
Johnson served as an Oakland County Commissioner and an Oakland County Parks and Recreation Commissioner from 1994-1998. During her tenure, the Waterford Oaks Waterpark received major improvements including the addition of a children’s water playground and a group raft ride. Groveland Oaks County Park also underwent vast renovations including the reconfiguration of group campsites, the addition of seven new group shelters and water and electrical hookups.
Commitment to Excellence: Dan Stencil, CPRE, Executive Officer
Dan Stencil consistently demonstrates significant investment, support and guidance to his fellow professionals at Oakland County Parks. This honor is given to the person that exemplifies the highest level of professionalism within the industry and is chosen by MRPA’s president.
New Professional: Matt Pardy, Park Supervisor
Matt Pardy is a passionate advocate of lifeguard training. Through his leadership, OCP has expanded its training program to include refresher courses and extensive training for new lifeguards. Pardy oversees up to 100 seasonal employees and is responsible for the facility’s $1.25 million annual budget. He developed a manual for new employees, outlining expectations and policies, resulting in a cultural shift toward greater professionalism and pride at the park system’s facilities.
Programmy Awards
Outreach Partnership: Recreation Assistance Partnership Program
The Recreation Assistance Partnership Program continues to bring a full slate of programs to Oakland County’s 62 cities, villages and townships by bringing enriching outreach programs directly to residents. Oakland County Parks and Recreation Commission continues to show its support for RAPP through its annual funding allocation. This year those monies will allow the program to provide recreation activities to more than 200,000 residents who may not otherwise have access to these opportunities.
Health and Wellness Program: River Walk at Red Oaks Waterpark
The 1,000 foot long River Ride at Red Oaks Waterpark serves a dual purpose in the Madison Heights community. By day, the moving river is a relaxing waterpark ride with guests of all ages gliding down the twists and turns on tubes. By evening, it is transformed into an outdoor exercise area for adults to enjoy a brisk cardiovascular workout.
The gentle resistance of the circulating, waist-high water is ideal exercise for people with disabilities, joint replacements or other health challenges, while offering an invigorating therapeutic experience in a scenic setting. The River Walk has helped many Oakland County residents commit to a healthy lifestyle.
Oakland County Parks and Recreation Commission is committed to creating year-round recreational opportunities at 13 parks while preserving park land. In 49 years, the Oakland County Parks system has grown to 7,000 acres of natural landscapes. Oakland County's beautiful parks contribute to the high quality of life that attracts businesses and residents to the communities and outdoor recreation for Oakland County residents.
Visit DestinationOakland.com for more information about Oakland County Parks and Recreation and join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter @DestinationOak.

Expanded hours announced for Red Oaks Nature Center

The Oakland County Parks and Recreation has announced expanded hours and additional offerings at Red Oaks Nature Center in Madison Heights.

The new hours are:
Monday: Closed
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; (Open until 8 p.m. Memorial Day-Labor Day) Sunday: Noon-5 p.m.

"The new Red Oaks Nature Center hours were designed to allow guests more access to the Nature Center and to allow for the expansion of new programs,” Park Supervisor Matt Pardy said. “Along with almost doubling the Nature Center hours, we are launching birthday party programs and school field trip offerings at the Nature Center. We are excited to continue to grow our nature program offerings at the Red Oaks Nature Center."

“Wild Birthday Parties” will now be available at Red Oaks Nature Center as well as at OCP’s Wint Nature Center at Independence Oaks in Clarkston. The birthday parties are designed for children ages 4-12 and can accommodate up to 18 children. The party package includes an hour and a half party with a nature talk and a game and craft or hike; party invitations and decorations; and a goodie bag for each child.

For information on nature center birthday parties as well as new programming, call 248-585-0100.

Red Oaks Nature Center is located at 30300 Hales Street in Madison Heights.

Wint Nature Center is located at 9501 Sashabaw Road, Clarkston in Independence Oaks County Park.

Visit DestinationOakland.com for more information. Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @DestinationOak. 

Get to know butterflies!

Did you know that Monarch butterflies migrate nearly 3000 miles to Mexico over winter? Learn about these beautiful butterflies, their incredible journey and more at Monarch Migration on Wednesday, Sept. 10 from 6:30 – 8 p.m. at Red Oaks Nature Center.

Hear about conservation practices at Oakland County Parks to protect and increase biodiversity. Monarch Watch experts and natural resources education staff will be on hand for discussion and questions.

Free program sponsored by ITC. Pre-register at 248-858-0916 during regular weekday business hours.

A valid daily or annual Vehicle Permit is required for park entry.

Red Oaks Nature Center is located at 30300 Hales Street in Madison Heights. 

For more information, visit DestinationOakland.com. Join the conversation on FacebookInstagram and Twitter @DestinationOak.

Women in construction unite in support of Habitat for Humanity


Barton Malow Co., a long time supporter of Habitat for Humanity of Oakland County, is now gathering women across the construction industry to help out for Habitat’s Women Build 2014 initiative. Women Build Oakland County is set to take place August 11th in Madison Heights. 

Read more

Chilly Open kicks off the golf season

Golfers are invited to participate in the Chilly Open at Red Oaks Golf Course at 3 p.m. on Saturday, March 22. The event is a nine-hole two-person scramble for golfers ages 16 and over.
“This is a great way for golfers to get outdoors, shake off cabin fever and start the season at Oakland County Parks and Recreation golf courses. This is a popular event and it will take place regardless of weather,” Supervisor of Golf Revenue and Operations Darlene Rowley said.
Cost is $45/two-person team and includes nine holes of golf with contests, prizes and a light meal. Teams may pre-register by March 18. Walking golfers only; pull carts are available for $3/each. 
Contact rowleyd@oakgov.com  or redoaksgc@oakgov.com for more information.

Red Oaks Golf Course is located at 29600 John R Road in Madison Heights.
Visit DestinationOakland.com for details and downloadable registration form. Find Oakland County Parks and Recreation on Facebook and follow on Twitter @DestinationOak.
20 Madison Heights Articles | Page: | Show All
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