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MSU - MDNR Bald Mountain Recreation Area Project . Abbey Neerken Minji Lee Erin Woods. Bald Mountain Recreation Area. 4,637 acres spread across three separate units ( North Unit , South Unit and West Unit )

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Msu mdnr bald mountain recreation area project

MSU - MDNR Bald Mountain Recreation Area Project

Abbey Neerken

Minji Lee

Erin Woods

Bald mountain recreation area
Bald Mountain Recreation Area

4,637 acres spread across three separate units (North Unit, South Unit and West Unit)

Bald Mountain Recreation Area is situated in Orion Township, which is located in the northwest portion of Oakland County. Its geographic coordinates approximate 42 ۫ 74” latitude and 83 ۫ 22” longitude.

Bald Mountain Recreation Area is located north of I-75 and directly east and west of M-24, otherwise known as S. Lapeer Rd. The park is easily accessible from I-75 via M-24.

Two regional trail systems provide direct connection to portions of Bald Mountain Recreation Area. The Paint Creek Trail, overseen by the Paint Creek Trailways Commission, connects the City of Rochester to Lake Orion through Rochester Hills, Oakland Township, and Orion Township.

Schools surrounding bmra

Schools Surrounding BMRA

Why partnerships
Why Partnerships

  • Goal #4 and #8 of the DNR - Parks and Rec Division 2009-2019 Strategic Plan

    • Goal #4 In collaboration with the Office of Communication and stakeholders, improve and expand education and interpretation

    • Goal #8 Make the development of Partnerships a priority

  • One of the primary objectives of the 2013 Michigan Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP)

    • “Improve the collaboration and cooperation between all outdoor recreation providers to ensure that Michigan’s recreation system meets the needs and desires of its residents and visitors, and that users are made aware of opportunities throughout Michigan’s outdoor recreation system” (Michigan DNR, 2012, p. 2).

Why partnerships1
Why Partnerships

“Ultimately, without cooperation and collaboration, recreation agencies would come into competition with each other” (Parks & Recreation Magazine 2005)

“Collaboration + Communication = Diversification. Diversifications = No Competition”

Our project
Our Project

The purpose of this study is to identify, assess and recommend potential opportunities for partnerships that Bald Mountain Recreation Area can participate in to increase use of, visitation to, and revenue generation for the site. This will help ensure vitality and growth for a long-term, successful, and thriving recreation area for MDNR as well as the patrons of BMRA.

Our project objectives
Our Project: Objectives

1) Compare the Oakland County Park’s (OCP) Partners with Bald Mountain’s partners.

  • OCP has a list of over 60 past and present sponsors and partners.

    • Why are OCP so popular with partners/sponsors?

      2) InvestigateOakland County Schools (OCS) to find out why more schools are not involved with Bald Mountain Recreation Area.

  • Would any OCS be interested in visiting BMRA, whether for educational or after school purposes?

  • Do the OCS have any interest/need that can be filled by BMRA? Where do they currently take field trips?

  • Are there any potential niches BMRA can fill?

  • Are they aware of the programs BMRA offers and would they be interested in advertising to their students?

Our project methods
Our Project: Methods

  • Interviewed Jon Noyes, Planning Supervisor at Oakland County Parks

  • Reviewed industry literature

  • Survey & data analysis

    • Lake Orion Community Schools

    • Rochester Public Schools

    • Waterford School District

    • Brandon Public Schools

    • Oxford Schools

What is a partnership
What is a Partnership?

“Partnerships are defined as the voluntary pooling of resources (labor, capital, information) between two or more parties to achieve collaborative goals” (Mowen, Payne, Orsega-Smith & Godbey, 2009) .

Avoids duplications

Efficency in achieving goals

Sharing of costs

Leverage for obtaining funding

Sharing of information

More resources

Jon noyes planning supervisor at oakland county parks
Jon Noyes Planning Supervisor at Oakland County Parks

  • Management

    • Consider enterprise management

      • RFPs

    • Operating like a business = winners and losers

      • “Collaboration + Communication = Diversification. Diversifications = No Competition”

    • Consider how much resources to build and maintain partners

      • SWOT analysis can determine what partners to have

Jon noyes planning supervisor at oakland county parks1
Jon NoyesPlanning Supervisor at Oakland County Parks

  • Potential beneficial partner groups

    • Cranberry Lake Preserve Historical groups

    • Oakland Township Historical groups

    • Cranberry Mountain Bike Association

    • Mission Groups

    • Fishing Groups

    • Headwaters Cluster

    • Current users’ groups

    • REI and other local outfitters

      • Events/publicity

  • Recreation packages with partners

  • Traveling publication stand

  • Oakland County Parks & Rec Partner Categories:

  • Adaptive Recreation & Therapeutic Partners

  • Community & Education Partners

  • Conservation & Natural Resource Partners 

  • Corporate Partners

  • Recreation & Program Partners

  • Wellness Partners

Survey results1
Survey Results

78 teachers responded from 8 different schools

  • Only 78.6 % of teachers had previously heard of BMRA

Survey results3
Survey Results

  • Blanche Sims - 17

  • Brandon Middle School 17

  • Daniel Exford- 15

  • Van Hoosen - 15

  • Webber - 10

  • Scripps Middle school - 2

  • Walson - 1

  • Waterford -1

Survey results4
Survey Results

General education (All)- 29

Science - 10

Special education - 6

Math - 5

Language art - 3

Technology/Media - 3

Counselor - 2

Foreign Language - 2

History - 2

Music/Art - 2

Physical Education - 2

Social studies - 2

Speech - 2

Life skills/food - 1 Total : 71

Survey results5
Survey Results

  • Top 3 School Subjects

    • General Education

    • Science

    • Math

Survey results6
Survey Results

43 teachers do not currently takes students on outdoor field trips; 21 of those teachers are interested in doing so.

Msu mdnr bald mountain recreation area project

Survey Results

What other factors do you consider most important when considering the development of an off-campus, outdoor field trip or after-school activity?

Survey results7
Survey Results

Relation to School Curriculum - 14

Cost of transportation- 8

Time limit - 6

Parents supervision - 5

Student Interest - 5

Maximum number of participant- 3

Structure and planning - 3

Knowledgeable staff - 1

Maintained trails/running - 1

Survey results8
Survey Results

  • Top 6 Decision Making Factors

    • Safety and security of site (45)

    • Cost of entry (30)

    • Proximity to school (23)

    • Availability of adequate restroom facilities (18)

    • Anticipated weather conditions (16)

    • Provision of educational materials by destination (15)

Survey results9
Survey Results

  • Top 3 Field Trip Locations

    • Moose Tree Nature Center (11)

    • Seven Ponds (5)

    • Huckleberry Rail Road (2)


  • Shows importance for BMRA staff to understand and be knowledgeable of State of Michigan’s school curriculum.

    • Develop field trips and/or programs to meet those needs

    • Grade and subject specific

  • SOM Curriculum easily accessible online



  • Majority responses were from general education and science teachers.

    • Looking for locations to teach the following :

      • Water and land forms

      • Michigan History

  • BMRA offers multiple bodies of water, land forms and Michigan historical sites.

Relationship of bald mountain ra to other park resources

“The few studies that have examined collaborative partnerships within the park and recreation field have found a large discrepancy between support for collaborative partnerships and the actual collaborative efforts that are taking place. This suggests that park and recreation professionals and faculty conceptually recognize the promise of collaboration, but may lack the knowledge, motivation, skills or resources to initiate and maintain these collaborative efforts.”

“Come Together” Jason Bocarro and Bob Bacelona

Relationship of Bald Mountain RA to Other Park Resources

  • Huron Clinton Metropolitan Authority

  • Oakland County Parks

  • Orion Township Parks

  • Oakland Township Parks

  • Auburn Hills Parks

Collaborative tips schools
Collaborative Tips - Schools partnerships within the park and recreation field have found a

Collaborative efforts aimed at increasing student opportunities for field-based learning represent a most obvious win-win scenario for both parties

  • provide opportunities for students to engage in service learning as a component of an academic course

  • have practitioners serve as guest speakers in academic classes

  • use park and recreation agency resources to enhance teaching opportunities

  • include practitioners and faculty on department and agency advisory boards

  • collaborate with practitioners and faculty on the design of park and recreation curricula