View Full Version : Oakland County Adventure Recreation Park (aka SE MI Offroad Park)

July 7th, 2015, 05:02 PM
Hi Guys & Gals!!

Just a quick update with what's going on!

A St. Helen's type off road park in SE Michigan has been a dream for a number of years, and it appears that we may be getting close!

There are a couple planning meetings next week at the Oakland County Parks & Rec office for what's being called for now the Oakland County Adventure Recreation Park, or what some people have referred to as the SE Michigan Off Road Park for a number of years. There are a number of people working diligently behind the scenes to make this park happen. Facility, design, staffing, and other planning issues are being worked through as I write this.

Great Lakes Four Wheel Drive Association has also been asked to jump on board because of our experience, expertise, and personnel, as well as other intangible assets we have to offer the process.

If you're reading this post all you need to do right now is keep watching the forums for updates!! We just wanted to keep our membership and visitors to our website 'in the loop'! There WILL come a time when you active participation will be needed - in political support and boots-on-the-ground help at the eventual site.

So for all of you anxiously waiting this new park, you'll get a chance later this year to prove it!!

Good wheelin'!!

July 7th, 2015, 08:05 PM

July 7th, 2015, 08:41 PM

July 8th, 2015, 01:23 PM

Creative Fab
July 8th, 2015, 04:55 PM

July 9th, 2015, 07:37 AM
Oakland County had tried in the past and failed. It is refreshing that they did not give up and they came to understand that through building relationships they will also have the opportunity to fulfill their dreams as well.

July 12th, 2015, 07:58 AM
There is a schedule for Commission Meetings on DestinationOakland under the section “about us” and then “Commission”. You can get to it via the following link:

You will also note that the Agenda Packets are posted the Friday before the Tuesday Meeting. These are now public documents and can/should be shared freely and widely. A link to the PDF is: http://www.destinationoakland.com/Documents/July%2014%202015%20Commission%20Packet.pdf

As a follow up to earlier discussion, this meeting will NOT be the YES/NO vote as earlier stated. I think a large turnout showing concern is a good thing. Although we have been asked to NOT flood the public comment period with comments, I don't see a flaw with a few people speaking up.

What to say? I can't tell you how to speak your mind. I only ask that you keep it short and polite. Becoming loud or rude will not gain us anything. Passion? Yes. Professionalism? Yes. You don't need to be in a suit and tie. On the other hand, you should't be wearing a greasy wife beater either. :thumb:

July 12th, 2015, 10:35 AM
Thanks Jim!!!! Well said!! I'll see you there!

- Mike O.

July 14th, 2015, 12:45 PM
I will be running late, someone dave me a seat!

Sent from my electronic tether

July 14th, 2015, 09:03 PM
Well, we attended the parks commission meeting today. There was another presentation by park staff about what they envision and then another presentation by Ron Olson from the DNR. The DNR is very much in favor of this project and offers abundant support. They also envision the possibility of a 3rd party concessionaire to operate the park either with or without Oakland County's participation. I am not really sure what to think about the proposals. All I can say for sure is that the game plan has changed dram atically from the original plans and I don't think it is as good. But without the county feeling it's a good fiscal move, we are handcuffed. The good thing is that the process is still moving forward and I have yet to hear anything negative other than the county making sure it is a good fiscal move.

I would really like to say thank you to all those that attended today. Hopefully you got a feel for the slow wheels of government. :rolleyes: There were questions asked today that were asked last year. And it's frustrating and irritating to know that several of our parks commission has not yet even viewed the site, even though there have been countless tours and invites. :( Shame on them. :fish: But back to the attendance, I know for a fact it made an impression. I was told afterwards that there has never been that large of a turnout for a commission meeting for a special project. Kudos to all of you :thumb:

Based on the discussion today, it is my understanding that they will allow a "public input" meeting on August 11th. This is different than a "public comment" meeting. I believe that a "public input" meeting will allow for more interaction with the residents. I know that this has been said before, but I think "THIS" is the meeting that requires a huge user turnout. It was discussed that it would be held in the evening and in a larger meeting room to allow for a higher attendance. This is a good thing! Please plan to attend.

It sounds like the commission will vote in September. Will they? I simply don't know. I thought they were going to vote in April and here we are in July with nothing yet. The good side is that it hasn't been voted down.

We also met with some of the park staff after hours today to work on how to move forward. The DNR has suggested that "volunteer groups" could assist with the park planning and initial work. How would this work? We will continue to discuss options and ideas as we hear more from the DNR.

We were also pleased to hear that the DNR has gone out for bids on appraisals of the properties. This means that they are moving forward with the purchase of the land. The date mentioned was to have it purchased by the end of the year.

July 15th, 2015, 12:32 AM
Thanks, Jim. Great recap.

July 15th, 2015, 07:23 AM
Keep up the good work folks!

July 22nd, 2017, 11:03 AM

December 6th, 2017, 08:25 AM
Today is the DAY to SHOW your SUPPORT for an ORV park in SE Michigan. Many of you have voiced your displeasure with the LACK of a local venue for off road challenges. Now is the time to man or woman up and show your face at a meeting in support of Oakland County Parks participating in the development & operations of a local destination to provide multi-use of this land.

Ohio may have good football (so I have heard, I am not a follower of sports) but I will drive from Ohio to Michigan anytime for a GREAT day of full size trail riding. So save me seat :soap:

December 6th, 2017, 08:14 PM
ORV Update round December 6th

To all of you who attended the Parks Commission meeting, thank you for making the time to attend. For many of you, I know it was a long drive and a sacrifice of vacation and/or personal time. Many of you came up to speak to me and I appreciate the kind words. I was not able to spend any time chatting, and I apologize for that. No slight was intended.

So many of you are thanking me for this, and you have it backwards. I'm just the poor sap who typed out a cry for help. YOU FOLKS are the people who deserve the thanks. Every one of you who spoke, sat in a chair, stood along the wall or drove your rig made a HUGE IMPRESSION on the commissioners and their staff. Keep in mind that they have NEVER NEVER NEVER had this large of a turnout for any issue, let alone that everyone who was there was in support of the park. No opposition, no disagreements, but rather a strong showing of family, camaraderie, friendship and a sincere willingness to help.

The number reported to me was between 300-325 in attendance, NOT INCLUDING the board members. WOW!!!

So what does this mean to you and the future of the ORV park? I'm seeing some misleading posts so let me try to clarify.

There are two distinct things to be aware of.
1) The vote today does not mean that the county is moving forward with the park. It means that the county has agreed to enter into studies and negotiations with the DNR to "POSSIBLY" operate the park. This negotiation will result in an OPERATING LEASE AGREEMENT between the county and the state. Think of it like buying a house. You may go out and get pre-approved for a loan and sign on with a real estate agent, but you haven't agreed to buy a house yet. You are just shopping. The county voted to officially shop.

2) The DNR owns the land and has the intention to open an ORV park hopefully operational in late 2018. So what if they cannot develop an operating agreement with the County? The state will have to go back to the drawing board to determine how the park should be operated.

So you may say "so why was it so important for me to take a vacation day if nothing really happened?". Here is why. If the county had backed out today, the state really doesn't have a backup plan. It would have stalled, for how long, I don't know. Instead, YOU gave the county the confidence that this is a good thing.

Paul Hittie and I stayed to meet with Jason Fleming of the DNR and Jon Noyes from Oakland County. You all heard Jason say he wants to get things rolling. Our meeting was to discuss how to move forward with volunteers who will be part of a planning group. Jason is going to work out a format and present it to us for review. More to follow on that but realize we may not see anything till after the new year.

We broke up about 4:30 which is about the time the commission meeting broke up. We ended up talking with some of the commissioners and staff. They told us over and over that we did a great job, they were impressed with the crowd and the turnout and that we definitely made a positive impression. They were very impressed with the diversity, the distance people drove to be here and the show of dedication.

Great job everyone!

Oh, and a special thanks to that guy who drove from Ohio. Great to see you Doug! I know others drove just as far but an out of stater got their attention.

December 6th, 2017, 09:26 PM
THANKS for the kind words, Jim.
I have been absent for a few years dealing with work priorities and personal multiple family matters, when it rains, it pours.
Things are looking up for 2018.

Most of all, we understand the importance of our PRESENCES today but you are modest and WE recognize you and a few others have been doing a lot of HEAVY lifting in the background and for that WE ALL are very grateful and give you a Big ATTA BOY yourock: :wave: :thumb:

December 17th, 2017, 06:51 PM
Awesome! Glad the response was so positive!