This summer, Sterling Heights will become home to an exciting and out-of-the-ordinary type of recreational activity — an aerial ropes park to be called the “Sterling Heights Adventure Park.”
At Tuesday’s meeting, the Sterling Heights City Council approved a license agreement with Adventure Island LLC to develop the ropes course inside City-owned Farmstead Park.
The Sterling Heights Adventure Park will be located along five (5) acres of the City’s 55-acre Farmstead Park, situated on the south side of Clinton River Road. The Adventure Park will be an aerial forest ropes park consisting of platforms installed in the trees connected by various configurations of cable, wood, rope, bridges and zip lines to form trails. Each trail will vary in difficulty, ranging from beginner to expert, and will be located anywhere from 10 to 50 feet above the ground.
Once built and open for business, slated for summer 2018, the course will be offered to ages 5 years old and up and open April through October, rain or shine. Patrons of the Adventure Park will be required to wear a safety harness and helmet in order to access the course. The Adventure Park will be both physically and mentally challenging and offered at a rate of $20-39 per participant.
Sterling Heights Adventure Park’s owner Michelle Finateri approached the City about operating the “obstacle course in the trees” within a City park as a public-private agreement. Finateri emphasized the park is built to be environmentally conscious in nature, as it only requires the removal of two significant living trees for installation, along with the removal of dead and diseased trees, and the trimming of branches to accommodate the course. The City has committed to planting new trees to replace those removed to accommodate the project.
Sterling Heights Mayor Michel C. Taylor said he’s enthusiastic about the project, as the Adventure Park adds a new amenity for people to enjoy in an underutilized area of a City park without taking away from any current uses.
“This is an exciting project, and something not only our Sterling Heights residents will greatly enjoy, but a project that will draw people from all around Macomb County and Metro Detroit to Sterling Heights,” Taylor said. “When they get here, they’ll see the improvements we’ve done in Dodge Park too. This is a park that will greatly benefit the entire City in providing a new, fun recreation activity for families, businesses and many others to enjoy.”
Parks and Recreation Director Kyle Langlois emphasized that current access to the park by the general public will not be impacted by the Adventure Park. The aerial course itself will only be accessible to paying Adventure Park patrons at a single point, controlled by the operator of the park during open hours.
“Entering in to a public/private partnership like this is a tremendous opportunity to provide new recreation opportunities to our residents while also being fiscally responsible,” Langlois said. “Promoting different types of recreation—especially in regards to outdoor and adventure recreation—is something that has been lacking in Sterling Heights over the years. Parlaying the adventure park with the new canoe and kayak options along the Clinton River, we now have two very viable options that connect our residents to the natural outdoors.”
Adventure Island LLC has commissioned Beanstalk Builders LLC, a company specializing in designing and building outdoor adventure parks, to design and build the aerial ropes park specifically for Farmstead Park. Beanstalk Builders has been in the adventure park construction business for over 20 years. One of Beanstalk Builders’ principals is a founding member of the Association for Challenge Course Technology (ACCT), a trade association established in 1993 to establish safety standards for the zipline, canopy tour, and aerial adventure park industry.
Those with questions or those seeking more information can contact Community Relations Director Bridget Kozlowski at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (586) 446-2471.