Waterford, Michigan -- Oakland County’s Trail, Water & Land Alliance recently honored Oakland Township and a Rose Township resident for collectively contributing more than 70 years to preserving and protecting the county’s natural areas.
Oakland Township, along with Rose Township resident Gisela Lendle King, were each recognized during the Alliance’s Fall Celebration earlier this month at the Rochester Community House for efforts to preserve and protect the natural areas of Oakland County that are essential to a healthy green infrastructure. The green infrastructure network links natural areas such as trails, parks, scenic vistas and waterways throughout the county.
“Our green spaces, trails and waterways are vital components of the quality of life we embrace in Oakland County,” County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said. “I commend and congratulate the honorees for their commitment to preserving and protecting our natural areas.
”Oakland Township earned the Trail, Water & Land Alliance Oak Land Award for 40+ years of preserving and protecting its woodlands, wetlands, slopes, streams and open spaces. The township’s successful efforts were powered by an engaged community, which approved a millage for parks and recreation and for land preservation. Using the millage, state and federal grants and private donations, township acquisitions and initiatives have improved the green infrastructure by adding important inventory including:
- 17 parks, totaling more than 1,000 acres
- 5.3 miles of the Paint Creek Trail
- 14 natural areas, totaling 560 acres with significant assets
- Oak-hickory forest
- Glacial lakes and trout stream
- Cranberry bog and swamps
- Prairies and fens
King earned the Trail, Water & Land Alliance Partner Award for her lifetime advocacy for environmental causes and helping protect Oakland County’s unique natural resources. Her involvement spans 30 years, during which she lobbied and worked on policy issues for proper waste disposal, wetland protection, recycling and toxic waste clean-up. She serves on the board of trustees of the Michigan Nature Association and the board of directors for the Detroit Audubon Society. She is also a well-known and faithful steward at the Big Valley Nature Sanctuary in Rose Township, home to scenic vistas and a unique fen.
The Alliance recognition of these member contributions aligns with its mission to be an informed, coordinated and collaborative body. The alliance is comprised of more than 50 nature-based organizations, each with individual goals and objectives but united as TWLA to exchange information at regularly scheduled meetings and coordinate efforts and limited resources.
Alliance meeting dates for 2016 are Jan. 21, April 21, July 21 and Oct. 6. The meetings are held in the Oakland County Executive Office Building Conference Center, 2100 Pontiac Lake Road, Building 41W, in Waterford.
The Trail, Water & Land Alliance is guided by the Planning Division of the Department of Economic Development & Community Affairs.