West Bloomfield residents offered their ideas during a public forum on Tuesday on how the township's parks can best serve the public.
The West Bloomfield Parks and Recreation Commission and Director Dan Navarre hosted the forum at the Family Aquatic Center to hear from interested residents regarding additions to the parks master plan, which was last updated in 2007.
Feedback from residents included:
- "Less dog poop! It’s hard for my kids to run and around and play on the grass. In all of the parks, we need to make changes. But, overall, I’m very happy with where we’ve gone and what we’re doing." — Ron Bush II
- "Seniors today are interested in doing things socially. If you took a bus of 14 to Detroit for theater, dinner, and the casino, it would be a big hit." — Joel Bussell
"We're trying to kill two birds with one here," said Leah Groya, a planner working with Living Lab Detroit, a planning, landscape architecture and design firm hired to assist the commission. "It's used as a guide in the community to assess local priorities, but it's also used to procure state funds, so to do this gets us both objectives."
Deputy director David Burley said as the previous update outlined specific projects and goals that have been met (click here for the full plan), the new master plan must rely on public feedback.
"These are parks for the public, and so, we need to know what the public wants to see from them in order for them to work well. We had public forums for our last update, which outlined specific projects and goals we met, and this one will provide new goals and expectations," he said.
Among the additions which are sure to happen, Burley added, are a second phase in the West Bloomfield Trail project to include amenities such as restrooms.
In order to apply for federal and state grant funds, the state Department of Natural Resources requires the Parks and Recreation Commission to update its master plan every five years. Such funds of the budget for such projects as the trail extension; they also fund many services and programs.
Groya added that the commission hopes to adopt the master plan in May and that a public hearing is required to be scheduled in advance of adoption.
There are no more public forums scheduled, but Parks and Recreation staff are interested to know what residents have to say prior to the plan's scheduled adoption in May. They urge residents to call the at (248) 451-1900 or send an e-mail through their website with questions, comments, and concerns.