The Oakland County Parks and Recreation Commission is taking over management and operation of the Oakland County Market in June.
According to Sue Wells, manager of Oakland County Parks and Recreation operations, the transfer will hopefully take place on June 2. The market, located off Pontiac Lake Road in Waterford Township, is currently operated by the county’s Facilities Maintenance and Operations Division.
The Oakland County Parks and Recreation Commission, along with the Oakland County Board of Commissioners, approved the transfer earlier this month.
“The market aligns with all aspects of the parks system’s mission by encouraging healthy lifestyles, supporting economic prosperity and promoting the protection of natural resources, while at the same time providing high-quality recreational experiences,” said Oakland County Parks and Recreation Executive Officer Dan Stencil. “The goal for the market is to promote access to locally grown fresh produce, meat, diary, plants and flowers to residents in an exciting and educational atmosphere.”
“This has been on the (Oakland County) Parks and Recreation radar for the past 20 years,” Wells added. “When you look at Parks and Recreation, the county market aligns with its mission. We’re very excited about having it.”
The market features a farmer’s market on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays from May to December. The Saturday farmer’s market continues year-round, along with a Sunday flea market.
The Oakland County Market averages around 300,000 visitors annually.
The market will stay in its current location at 2350 Pontiac Lake Road, adjacent to the Oakland County Executive Office building.
The site consists of 14 acres, which includes a 7,453-square-foot building with 38 indoor stalls, an orchard and woodlot.
The market will be considered a part of the nearby Waterford Oaks County Park, located off Scott Lake Road at Watkins Lake Road in Waterford.
“It’s a part of the park mainly for a planning perspective,” Wells said. “We have a lot of long-range improvements (in mind). For example, it would be nice to have a pathway (connecting the market and Waterford Oaks).
However, the proposed improvements need funding, so Wells expects certain changes will take time to implement.
As for immediate changes that will come to the market, Wells said Parks and Recreation officials plan on focusing on promoting the market’s existence and operation.
“We want to focus on customer service and letting people know the market is there during our first year,” she said. “We hope it will be a smooth transition.”