​​​​​​​​​P​lanning at Oakland County Parks and Recreation is an integrated process that focuses on parks, recreational facilities, and the organization as a whole. The Planning and Resource Development unit of Oakland County Parks works with the Parks Commission, park staff, park visitors, local governments, and the public to create plans that are founded on research and public engagement and that measure outcomes, making adjustments as needed.  For more information about the activities and products of the Planning and Resource Development unit, contact Melissa Prowse, Supervisor of Planning and Resource Development at (248) 249-2801 or​. ​

PLANNING NEWS - Independence Oaks Safety Path Open House

Thank you to everyone who came to the Independence Oaks Safety Path Open House on February 22 or completed an online survey!  ​View survey results. 
This proposed project will provide approximately 1.6 miles of an 8’-wide trail with 10’-wide ​boardwalk sections over wetland areas along Sashabaw Road, between the main entrance of Independence Oaks County Park and the entrance to Independence Oaks-North. The propos​ed Safety Path provides key connectivity between the internal park paths at both sections of Independence Oaks – 12.5 miles of trails in Independence Oaks and approximately 1/3- mile at Independence North. It also provides an important link within Independence Township’s Safety path masterplan, connecting existing pathways along Oak Hill Road to the north and routes to Clintonwood Park and the Village of Clarkson via pathways along Sashabaw and Clarkston roads.​​
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5-Year Parks and Recreation Master Plan 2013-2017 

The 5-Year Recreation Plan guides staff and decision-makers as they provide park and recreation services to the residents of Oakland County and continually strive for social, environmental and fiscal sustainability of the parks system. The current plan was adopted by the Oakland County Board of Commissioners and approved by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources in 2013 and expires on December 31, 2017.  Contact Donna Follan​d, Senior Planner, at (248) 736-9087 or for more information about Oakland County Parks 5-Year Recreation Plan.

Additional appendices are available on request. 

​​​​​Annual Dashboard and Data Book

​The staff and Parks Commission have access to park-related data from many sources - surveys, vehicle and trail counters, external databases, natural resource monitoring and point-of-sale information, for example. This report provides a broad overview of park statistics and trends, as well as richer, more detailed, facility-level data. Both levels of data are needed for making plans and decisions regarding park facilities. Contact Donna ​Follan​d, Senior Planner, at (248) 736-9087​ or for more information about data collection and management.

​Capital Improvement and Maintenance Management Plans - Fiscal Year 2017

​​​The Capital Improvement and Maintenance Management Plans anticipate the design, construction and maintenance projects over the next 5 years. The Management Plans are submitted to the Parks Commission annually for review and approval. ​The development of management plans is guided by the recommendations of individual park plans and annual project meetings with park operations staff/vendors for the maintenance and improvement of the park.​ Contact Mike Donnellon, Chief of Park Facilities, Maintenance & Development at 248-343-6290 or with questions or for more information.

Technology Plan 2013-2018

In 2008, the Oakland County Parks and Recreation Commission (OCPRC) significantly invested in the development and implementation of an enhanced and standardized technology suite. The enhanced suite included network connectivity, increased access to personal computers, and utilization of mobile devices. The Technology Plan was updated in 2013 and outlines the strategic goals for future technology implementation, the key initiatives in each area and the factors critical to the successful implementation of the plan.​ Contact Phil Castonia, Chief of Internal Services, at for more information about technology at Oakland County Parks. 

Park Plans​

The purpose of the park planning process is to ensure that operational and facility improvements are designed to meet the recreational needs of Oakland County residents and are welcoming to people of all abilities, ages, and cultures. The primary focus is on the long-term stability, management, and programming of existing assets and facilities, with a secondary focus on development of new assets and facilities. ​ Park plans consist of three documents that are updated annually: Park Planning Process Executive Summary, which outlines the overall objectives for all parks; the Baseline Park Analysis; and the Park Vision and Facility Concepts. These documents are received and filed by the Parks Commission and will be incorporated into the next version of the Rec Plan for 2018-2022. ​​​​​​Contact Donna Follan​d, Senior Planner, at (248) 736-9087​ or for more information about individual park plans. 

ADA Transition Plan

The ADA Transition Plan is being developed to satisfy the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. In 2006, OCPRC hired two consulting companies to carry out a thorough assessment of all physical barriers within the 11 county parks then in existence. These barriers were identified because they have the potential to prevent people with disabilities from fully participating in the programs, services, and activities offered to the public by and within the Oakland County park system. In addition, the identified barriers are not in conformance with ADA accessibility standards and guidelines.
The Transition Plan is now being developed by updating and photo documenting the 2006 assessment and providing additional solutions and prioritization for the barrier removal process. Completion of the Transition Plan is being completed along the same schedule as that for the parks’ Vision and Concepts, so that information on barrier removal may be incorporated into the documents. Contact Linda Hegstrom, ADA Coordinator, at (248) 858-4620 or for more information about accessibility at Oakland County Parks. ​​​

Professional Resources

The following resources are provided in response to requests to share templates and processes that have been developed by OPCR staff. Please contact Donna Folland, Senior Planner, at (248) 736-9087​ or with questions or ​for more information about these resources.