Media Contact
Desiree Stanfield, Supervisor – Marketing & Communications 

"Rise Up" to celebrate National Park and Recreation Month in July

Month-long celebration focuses on recognizing essential role of parks, park staff

OAKLAND COUNTY – This July, join Oakland County Parks and Recreation (OCPR) in honoring National Park and Recreation Month to shine a light on the essential role parks play in building strong, vibrant and resilient communities. This year's theme is "We Rise Up for Parks and Recreation" and recognizes the many dedicated parks and recreation professionals who "rise up" every day to maintain parks in our communities and provide excellent recreation programming, services and activities across Oakland County.

During the pandemic, parks – and the recreation professionals that have kept them up and running during an incredibly challenging time – have served as a lifeline for people seeking respite in nature and outdoor activities. All month long, OCPR will be sharing stories from staff and featuring aspects of our parks system that have supported the physical and mental health of residents and visitors when they needed it most.

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Media Contact
Desiree Stanfield, Supervisor – Marketing & Communications 

Oakland County Parks and Recreation schedules Virtual Summer Job Fair

OAKLAND COUNTY – Oakland County Parks and Recreation (OCPR) will host a Virtual Job Fair in collaboration with Oakland County Human Resources from 1-4 p.m. Tuesday, May 24. As summer quickly approaches, OCPR still needs hundreds of workers to adequately staff its waterparks and outreach for recreation programs and events.

Job seekers can talk directly to the supervisors of key areas to learn about jobs that make a difference in their community at the Virtual Job Fair, then apply for the opportunity to gain valuable employment experience and work in a safe, clean, fun and supportive environment. Interested persons can register for the event by visiting or clicking on this link:

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​Media Contact
Desiree Stanfield, Supervisor – Marketing & Communications 

OCPR announces Community Grant recipients 

OAKLAND COUNTY – Fourteen Oakland County communities have been awarded a total of $1.15 million in 2022 Oakland County Parks and Recreation Commission Community Grants. These grants will assist municipalities with planning, preliminary engineering/design and construction costs directly related to local park improvement and trail projects. 

Funding for the grants was made possible through support from the Oakland County Board of Commissioners and Oakland County voters, who approved an increased millage levy to support the Oakland County Parks and Recreation Commission. This initiative will be reviewed on an annual basis to determine grant funding availability and procedures.

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OCPR earns statewide recognition

OAKLAND COUNTY – Oakland County Parks and Recreation (OCPR) has been recognized with an Innovative Recreation Programming Award from mParks for its Disability Dirt Day program aimed at expanding opportunities in the parks for guests with cognitive, developmental or physical disabilities.

During the inaugural Disability Dirt Day on Oct. 24, 2021, volunteer drivers of all-terrain vehicles were paired with registered participants for rides around the 106-acre Holly Oaks ORV Park. Everyone explored the park's attractions like the Sandbox, the Big Easy and Holly Glen Track while rolling over hills and splashing through water.

2021 Annual Report released

OAKLAND COUNTY – In 2021, Oakland County Parks and Recreation (OCPR) invested resources in the management of its public lands.

The 14-park system created grant programs for expanding trails, enhancing parks and assistance with invasive species removal countywide. Parks staff also teamed with Oakland University for a pollinator study; made a $2.2 million investment in Red Oaks Waterpark in Madison Heights; and developed accessible programming for Holly Oaks ORV Park near Holly. These projects and programs are highlighted in OCPR's Annual Report: Conversations & Conservation, which can be viewed at

2022 Budget Approved News Release

OAKLAND COUNTY –The Oakland County Parks and Recreation (OCPR) budget for fiscal year 2022 has been approved at $34,197,675 by the Oakland County Board of Commissioners.

The budget will focus on projects that maintain park sites such as roof and HVAC replacements, road paving and maintenance and golf course irrigation.

“One hundred percent of all funded projects are a reinvestment into existing facilities and natural areas,” OCPR Interim Executive Officer Sue Wells said. “These projects are necessities. Our visitors expect their 14 Oakland County Parks to be well maintained.”

Herons return to Lyon Oaks County Park

After a long hiatus, Great Blue Herons have returned to nest at Lyon Oaks County Park in Wixom.

Great Blue Herons have nested intermittently on what is now park property since the early 1900s. In the late 1980s, there were more than 200 nests located on the property. When Oakland County Parks and Recreation acquired the land in the early 1990s, the rookery had already been abandoned, which is a natural pattern for heron rookeries.

In 2006 DTE Energy provided and installed 11 75-foot cedar utility poles as nesting structures, to encourage Great Blue Herons to once again nest in the park. In 2020 and again in 2021, two nests were active, demonstrating that the structures and location are acceptable to these magnificent birds. 

Independence Oaks County Park - North's Upper Bushman Lake receives special catch-and-release-for-all-fish-species designation from Michigan DNR 

Oakland County is home to thousands of lakes and rivers that residents use for boating, paddling and fishing. Among them are Upper Bushman Lake, a 32-acre lake in Independence Oaks County Park near Clarkston that has once again received a catch-and-release-for-all-fish-species designation from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

The designation means that anglers can catch fish, but must release them back into the lake to support the high-quality fishery. 

Waterford Oaks Waterpark remains closed for 2021 season

Oakland County Parks and Recreation was not able to hire enough lifeguards to staff the facility located in Waterford.

 "We appreciate the patience of our dedicated staff who have been working since January to recruit and hire staff for all our facilities," Interim Executive Officer Susan Wells said. "Unfortunately, lifeguard recruiting has been an issue the last few years in the county, state and nation. OCPR will not operate a facility if we are unable to provide the adequate safety level for our guests and staff."

Red Oaks Waterpark opens for 2021 season

After last summer’s hiatus due to the pandemic, Oakland County Parks and Recreation officials are excited to welcome visitors back at Red Oaks Waterpark in Madison Heights. 

Catch the latest news in the OAKNotes summer edition

The Summer 2021 issue of Oakland County Parks and Recreation's OAKNotes Newsletter is now available. Look inside this issue to learn more about the Oakland County Fair, changes at Red Oaks Waterpark, natural resources updates and more!

2021 Recreation Assistance Partnership Program funding approved

The Oakland County Parks and Recreation Commission approved $200,000 to support the 2021 Recreation Assistance Partnership Program (RAPP), which awards grants to local communities for outreach recreation programs, opportunities and experiences.

2021 Annual Vehicle Permits

Oakland County Parks and Recreation Annual Vehicle Permits are now available for 2021. Permits may be purchased online, by mail and in person at many locations throughout Oakland County

With voter approval of the 2020 Oakland County Parks and Recreation millage replacement and increase, we are pleased to be able to provide a free Annual Vehicle Permit to eligible Oakland County residents. Learn more here.