​​​​​​​​​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​. ​


Disc Golf Planning Workshop Report - April 26, 2018
Thank you to everyone who attended the Disc Golf Planning Workshop on March 14, 2018 at Lookout Lodge in Waterford Oaks County Park. The Workshop was hosted by Oakland County Parks and Recreation in partnership with the Huron-Clinton Metropolitan Authority (HCMA) and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) as a forum for disc golf users and other interested persons to learn about disc golf in Oakland County and the surrounding area and share information about their disc golf experiences and needs.  The Disc Golf Workshop Report was compiled from comments and discussion from the 49 people attending the Workshop and responses to a detailed survey completed at the Workshop and online (total of 80 surveys completed.) We are very grateful to the disc golf community for their support of the workshop and their enthusiasm for open dialogue about the sport they are passionate about.  Please contact Donna ​Follan​d, Senior Planner, at 248-736-9087​ or with any questions about the report.
Here are some of the key findings from the report: 

  • Most survey respondents were from Oakland County, followed by nearly one quarter from Macomb County
  • Stony Creek Metropark and Addison Oaks County Park were each listed by almost half of survey respondents as the courses they played most often, followed by River Bends Park and Firefighters Park. 
  • The four top locations for a new disc golf course were: Highland State Recreation Area, Proud Lake State Recreation Area, Belle Isle State Park, and Indian Springs Metropark. 
  • Survey respondents drive an average of 31 minutes to play disc golf: from 0 minutes to 115 minutes. 
  • Over half of survey respondents described themselves at an advanced level, including “professional”, “advanced”, “semi-professional”, “competitive”, and “high”. 
  • All respondents play at least once a week, with most playing at least three times a week. 
  • 8 holes was the course size preferred by more than three quarters of survey respondents; some listing 18 holes among multiple preferences. The comments included discussion of the merits of having two 18-hole courses in one location or having an additional 6 or 9 holes for casual play. Many comments stressed the importance of the quality of the course over the number of holes. 
  • “Championship” was the preferred course level of most survey respondents (71%), followed by “Intermediate / competitive” (55%). These were selected either on its own or in combination with the other options. The “Family / beginner” level was selected only a few times and only in combination with the other two choices (8%).  The comments among those selecting “Championship” alone described the attributes of a “championship” course and indicated there was a lack of such courses in the area. A few comments advocated for designing a “championship” course to accommodate all levels of play. 
  • Survey respondents clearly preferred a course environment that provides holes in a variety of wooded and open space settings. Comments gave detail on the merits of both. 
  • Hole length over 400 feet was preferred by most survey respondents. However, almost a third of respondents selected “Other”, with their comments indicating the need for a mix of distances. Most of those preferring hole lengths over 400 feet also provided detailed comments, many supporting the need for a mix of distances and indicating that distance is only one factor in designing a good hole.
  • Three quarters or more of survey respondents would like to include the following characteristics in a course: a variety of long and short holes in the same course, dog legs, both long and short tees at each hole, water, and raised or lowered baskets. 
  • When asked to list preferred brands and/or styles of baskets, the highest ranked brands were Innova and Discraft. Some expressed support for Michigan companies, mentioning Discraft and MVP by name. 
  • Most survey respondents currently pay a fee to play disc golf, either as a park entry fee or a fee to play or both. Those who currently pay fees to play disc golf pay from $2 to $5. Comments indicated that most respondents were willing to pay up to $10 to play disc golf but only for courses that were well-designed and well-maintained. 
  • When asked what types of amenities are important when playing disc golf, nearly all survey respondents indicated restrooms were important. Picnic tables/benches and convenient parking also ranked high. The importance of trash cans on the course was frequently mentioned in the comments for this question and in the earlier question regarding course characteristics.

Off-Road Vehicle Park Update - April 5, 2018

Oakland County Parks and Recreation is actively working with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) on a lease for the operation of the ORV Park in Groveland and Holly Townships. The land was acquired in early 2017, and mining is currently winding down on the majority of the property.  On March 28, 2018 a Request for Proposals (RFP) was released to solicit a consultant (or team of consultants) to assist OCPR and MDNR staff with the overall design and engineering of the park. The chosen consultant will work with staff from both organizations, as well as seeking public input, to develop a concept design for the park and a phasing plan for implementation. The initial goal is to open a safe and exciting park to the public as quickly as possible.  We know county residents (and greater Michigan and out of state guests) are very excited for the park to open. However, we do not want to open a park that doesn’t meet the needs of our users, or that doesn’t offer the types of facilities/trails/features that people want. The current timeframe (subject to change) is to open the park in the spring/summer of 2019.  Throughout the course of this summer/fall, the consultant will help us create an initial park design, along with future phases of development so the park can continue to grow and evolve throughout time. Bid documents for the RFP can be found on MITN (, or by contacting Andy Krumwiede from Oakland County Purchasing at (  
Check back for updates, or contact OCPR Planning Supervisor Melissa Prowse at 248-249-2801, or with any comments or questions. Questions and comments may also be directed to the MDNR by contacting Jason Fleming, Chief of Resource Protection and Promotion, at  517-930-6726 or  
Portions of the site, while now owned by the MDNR, are still active mining and extraction sites while the mining operations wind down and remove the remaining material.  There is currently no vehicular access allowed at the site.

Recreation Plan

The 5-Year Parks and Recreation Plan 2018-2022 ("Recreation Plan") is designed to guide the staff and the Parks and Recreation Commission over the next five years as we continue to provide high-quality recreational opportunities to the residents of Oakland County. The Recreation Plan is prepared following the guidelines provided by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) and was approved by the Oakland County Board of Commissioners on Feb. 1, 2018. 


Strategic Action Plan

The Strategic Action Plan 2018-2022 ("SAP") is the central guiding document for OCPR's actions over the next five years and is designed to fulfill the requirements of the MDNR for an action programs as part of the Five-Year Parks and Recreation Master Plan 2018-2022. The design of the SAP incorporates actions and metrics that meet the "SMART" criteria: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Results-Oriented, and Time-Bound. The SAP is a 'living document' with an annual cycle of evaluation, communication, and adjustment within OCPR. Results and updates will be shared with the public and continuing opportunities will be provided for the public to provide input. 


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 Improvements and Maintenance

​​​The Capital Improvement Program (CIP) 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 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.

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. 

Access and Inclusion

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. For more information, contact Melissa Prowse, Supervisor of Planning and Resource Development at 248-249-2801 or​. ​

Planning Resources

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