Oakland County to invest $1.5M in these two Madison Heights parks, assume operational duties

What’s happening: Oakland County Parks and City of Madison Heights officials have announced a shake-up at two Madison Heights parks that will keep the public spaces under City ownership but transfer park management and operations to the county. A series of community engagement events will provide locals the opportunity to provide their feedback on the upcoming changes — which will include at least $1.5 million in planned upgrades and investment.

What changes: A partnership agreement between the City and Oakland County Parks (OPC) has placed Ambassador Park and Red Oaks Nature Center under the management of OPC, which plans to merge Ambassador Park with Red Oaks County Park. OPC has announced that it will make an investment of at least $1.5 million in the public properties in an effort to reinvigorate the parks, assuming long-term responsibility for park management and operations.

What stays the same: Madison Heights will continue to own the properties and the parks will remain free to access and enjoy for all guests.

What’s next: A series of community input sessions are being held to gather resident feedback and direction on the future of the two parks, and a community survey is available online. Those feedback events are scheduled from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 16, at the Chinese Community Center; from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 18, at Civic Center Plaza; and from 1 to 3 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 22, at Red Oaks Nature Center, each of which are in Madison Heights.

What they’re saying: “We are looking forward to talking with community members and hearing what they’re most interested in and what’s important to them in a park,” says Melissa Prowse, OCP Manager – Planning & Development. “We’re excited to incorporate Ambassador Park into our Red Oaks park complex and offer some new recreational activities for the community. Guests can also expect to see improvements at Red Oaks Nature Center.”

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MJ Galbraith is a writer and musician living in Detroit. Follow him on Twitter @mikegalbraith.