Parks and Rec Receives State Award for Marshbank Park Improvement
The recently renovated Marshbank Park was featured as the winner of the Michigan Recreation and Parks Association’s Park Design Award at the association’s annual conference in Dearborn last week. The award was presented at the Placemaking Breakfast on Thursday and was accepted by West Bloomfield Parks and Recreation Deputy Director Dave Burley and Parks and Recreation Commissioners, Marc Jeffries, Carol Hack and Margie Fiszman-Kirsch.
The Commission made the commitment in 2007 to move forward with the design and funding of the Marshbank Park Improvement Project by committing over $4,500,000 and securing a $500,000 grant through the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund. The design team of Beckett & Raeder and Cooper Design along with public input created a first class township facility for users of all ages, with 100 percent barrier free accessibility. The plan succeeded in providing a facility which enhances the community’s recreation opportunities while protecting its valuable community natural resources.
“The Commission’s Marshbank Park Improvement project demonstrates its commitment to the environment, green technology and public recreation,” said Burley. “In addition to the goals of preserving sensitive natural areas and protecting adjacent Cass Lake and its watershed, the Commission focused on energy conservation, renewable energy, green building technology and universal accessibility.” Design elements and materials were selected to reflect local materials, site context, durability, and aesthetic qualities.
Marshbank Park uses a geothermal process to heat the Marshbank Lodge a year-round restroom/shelter building and the park systems central Maintenance Facility. Twenty one wells, each 258 feet deep transfer heat from below the earth’s surface to in-floor radiant heat tubes. The same heat transfer system is used to extract cool air for use in air conditioning the buildings. The Marshbank Lodge, Maintenance Facility and Overlook also employ a variety of green building technologies such as Structural Insulated Panels (SIP) for the insulated roof, recycled steel structural framework, recycled glass counters in the restroom and serving counter, solar panels for hot water heating, rain water harvesting and storage, waterless urinals, composting toilets in the Overlook, and skylights to minimize the need for artificial lighting.
Elsewhere in the park, benches, fishing piers, kayak launch and boardwalks are constructed of recycled aluminum and plastic lumber made from recycled milk jugs. Aggregate paths and asphalt walking trails were constructed to allow for the use of the public enjoyment and health benefits.
Recreation fields were developed for the use of area youth and adults. Adjacent to the Marshbank Lodge resides a sledding hill, concert area and accessible playground. Several playground areas were constructed with both traditional and interpretive design elements. An elevated boardwalk, floating fishing pier and kayak launch were added along the shore of Cass Lake.
Stormwater management on the site involves the use of bioswales, rain gardens, underground detention, and a permeable asphalt parking lot. Instead of directing storm water into concrete storm sewers then discharging into lakes or streams, the parks naturalized storm water treatment systems filter sediment from storm runoff and encourages water infiltration and evaporation.
Marshbank Park serves as one example of the Parks and Recreation Commission’s commitment to improve the community and environment through energy and environmental conservation, efficiency, and renewable energy while still providing for outstanding recreational opportunities. The overall development incorporated a truly four-season park for all ages to enjoy.