By David Fleet
Groveland Twp.- Two local officials will be recognized this spring for their efforts in establishment of the new ORV park. Bob DePalma, township supervisor and George Kullis, Holly Township supervisor were recently awarded the MParks Local Elected Official award for their work during the construction of the 106-acre Holly Oaks ORV Park which opened Sept. 17 following more than seven years of planning.
“It’s an honor to be part of the ORV Park project,” said DePalma. “The concept of a usable park to replace a gravel pit started many years ago. Our goal was to keep a landfill out of the community and for decades it was a real threat here in the township. The cooperation between the state of Michigan, Oakland County and the townships produced a park that will be a center for recreation for years to come.”
The Holly Oaks joint state-county project, operated by the Oakland County Parks and Recreation in partnership with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, via a 20-year operating agreement (with a 10-year renewal) consists of former and active sand and gravel mines. The park is located near Grange Hall Road and Dixie Highway across from Groveland Oaks County Park and Campground. Holly Oaks is open to all types of ORVs.
“We nominated you both (DePalma and Kullis) to MParks for their Local Elected Official Award this year, to recognize your incredible commitment to Holly Oaks and all of your support over the years that got us to the opening of the park this past September,” said Melissa Prowse, supervisor, planning and resource development, Oakland County Parks and Recreation.
The MDNR reported in December 2014 a grant for $2.9 million was approved from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund to purchase the property, however, only a portion of the grant was used so far.
By David Fleet