Hawthorne Park Receives $1.5 Million for Rejuvenation Through Oakland County Parks, Pontiac Partnership

Updates include improved facilities and a new name for the 77-acre park.
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Photograph courtesy of Oakland County Parks

Pontiac’s Hawthorne Park is about to get a makeover. The 77-acre space is set to undergo a rejuvenation this fall thanks to a new partnership agreement between the City of Pontiac and Oakland County Parks.

While the City retains ownership of the park, OCP will oversee its management and maintenance, beginning with a $1.5 million investment toward improved park facilities.

“Our partnership with Pontiac is opening new doors for Oakland County Parks to better serve the needs of the residents in the city and surrounding communities,” OCP director Chris Ward said in a press release.

“This park will be substantially improved, and city resources will be freed up for enhancements to other city parks,” Pontiac mayor Tim Greimel added.

Updates started this summer with park facilities considered high-priority or presenting maintenance issues. While OCP has not yet announced specific areas of improvement, recreational features including a fishing pier, disc golf course, pavilion, and playground provide the organization with a plethora of facilities to choose from.

A confirmed update is the renaming of the park as “Pontiac Oaks” on Oct. 1, which marks the official transition of park management.

Before the transition, park frequenters have the opportunity to participate in three interactive events held by the City and OCP.

Open houses held Aug. 21 from 6-8 p.m. and Aug. 26 from 1-3 p.m. encourage attendees to share their input on the rejuvenation plans, including voting for their favorite amenities and telling personal park stories.

“Input from the public will play a major role in shaping decisions and priorities as we work together to create a welcoming and revitalized park for the enjoyment of all,” Ward said in the press release.

A “See Ya! Summer” end-of-season celebration on Aug. 22 from 5-7:30 p.m. offers inflatables, face painting, balloon artists, a climbing wall, music, and more. “Wheels and Squeals” from 5-7:30 p.m., Sept. 29, allows attendees to see and feel unique city vehicles during the Touch-a-Truck event.

The Hawthorne Park rejuvenation is one of the endeavors funded by Oakland County’s $20.2 million Healthy Communities Park and Outdoor Recreation Investment Plan. The program uses American Rescue Plan Act funds, matched by OCP, to enhance parks and recreation in low-income areas.

Park partnerships similar to the City of Pontiac’s and OCP’s are planned for Oak Park, Southfield, and Madison Heights.

For more information on Oakland County Parks, visit OaklandCountyParks.com. Plus, learn about even more community development news at HourDetroit.com.