By Jim Newell
For the township “Where Living is a Vacation” Orion Township is sure getting its money’s worth in park land.
The Orion Township Board of Trustees voted unanimously to spend $2 on two new parks – $1 on each “pocket park” – along Baldwin Road.
During the Jan. 22 meeting, board members accepted a Quit Claim Deed from the Board of Commissioners of the Road Commission for Oakland County for the Baldwin and Jordan roads land; and a Quit Claim Deed for land at the southwest corner of Baldwin and Gregory roads, 4016 S. Baldwin Rd., during the Feb. 4 meeting.
The parks are a planned part of the Baldwin Road Redevelopment Project, a nearly $50 million rehabilitation of the Baldwin Road corridor that includes widening the road, the construction of five roundabouts from Morgan Road to the Great Lakes Athletic Club building entrance, pedestrian pathways and pocket parks (smaller roadside parks).
The road commission acquired the land in order to redevelop Baldwin Road, with completion slated for late this fall.
The Baldwin and Gregory pocket park is a quarter-acre and is on the site of the former Sunoco gas station, near Orion Township Fire Station no. 3.
The Baldwin and Jordan roads parcel, on the southeast corner, is a half-acre.
“I’m really excited to see the pocket parks get completed,” said Trustee Julia Dalrymple.
Supervisor Chris Barnett said the township has “placed a high priority on pedestrian amenities” and the deal with the road commission is a great opportunity for Orion Township to acquire the land.
The parks would most likely be green space with benches or picnic tables so residents in the area, pedestrians and bicyclists could stop for a bit, Barnett said, adding the township is pursuing grants to help possibly include other amenities at the parks, such as a yard-size chess/checker board.