Halloween Health and Safety Tips from the CDC

28 Oct
 Check out the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s helpful Halloween Health and Safety Tips!
We know our Oakland County Trick-or-Treaters will find this very useful!

children in halloween costumes

Fall celebrations like Halloween and Harvest Day are fun times for children, who can dress up in costumes, enjoy parties, and eat yummy treats. These celebrations also provide a chance to give out healthy snacks, get physical activity, and focus on safety.

Check out these tips to help make the festivities fun and safe for trick-or-treaters and party guests.

Going trick-or-treating?
alphabet letter s

Swords, knives, and other costume accessories should be short, soft, and flexible.

alphabet letter a

Avoid trick-or-treating alone. Walk in groups or with a trusted adult.

alphabet letter f

Fasten reflective tape to costumes and bags to help drivers see you.

alphabet letter e

Examine all treats for choking hazards and tampering before eating them. Limit the amount of treats you eat.

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2014 Michigan High School Football Playoffs

26 Oct

High School FootballOn the evening of October 26, the teams for this year’s Michigan High School Football Championships were made.

There were 229 automatic qualifying teams (by win total) – with the final 27 teams selected by playoff-point average, one from each class in order (A, B, C, D) until the field was filled.

Those 256 11-player teams are then split into eight equal divisions based on the schools enrollment. Two teams from each of the eight divisions will be in the Championship Games at Ford Field on either November 28th or November 29th.


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Fall! A perfect time to garden!

24 Oct

Did you know that the fall season is a time for revitalization and growth for your lawn and plants? That means it’s the perfect time to get your yard cleaned up and primed for the upcoming spring and summer seasons here in Oakland County!

Here is a list of 15 tips to help you add color now and prepare for the seasons ahead.

1. Plant mums, sedum, aster, ornamental grasses, cool-weather pansies, and kale in the ground or in pots now. These plants will brighten your fall landscape and do well in the cooler weather.

2. Be sure to fertilize. Many spring and summer blooming plants, like Rhododendron and Hydrangea will need a boost now to ensure the reward of lovely, full blooms later.



3. Divide your overgrown plants to rejuvenate them. Peony bushes, Iris, lilies, daylilies, daisies, etc. can be dug up and split if they’ve gotten too large or seem like they aren’t performing as well. You can leave a portion of the root in the ground and transplant the rest of the root to another spot.

4. Plant trees, flowering shrubs and evergreens now to give them time to establish their root systems. Fall is actually a better time to do this than the spring and summer months.

5. Trim your perennials back when they are done blooming and starting to look a little lackluster to give them more energy for next year.

6. Plant bulbs for spring. You’ll find a plethora of colors in the bulb section. Choose from tulips, daffodils, crocuses, hyacinths, alliums, anemones and more. Be sure to plant them in a sunny spot, with the root end pointing down, and add fertilizer.



7. Pull pesky weeds now to reduce the amount you’ll have popping up in the spring.

8. Add a one inch layer of mulch around trees, shrubs and in flower beds to give protection during the winter months.

9. Add compost to your garden soil to improve the fertility and health of the soil.

10. Dig up your delicate bulbs, like Dahlias, and store them for next year.



11. Aerate your lawn to improve oxygen levels in the soil and help establish your root system.

12. Add seed to bare spots or your whole lawn to add growth for the spring.

13. Mulch leaves to give your lawn added nutrients and a richer soil, while recycling a natural resource.

14. Fertilize your lawn one last time before the winter months.


A healthy Michigan lawn is the best!

15. One last thing, don’t forget to turn your hoses off in preparation for the winter!

Happy Fall Gardening in Oakland County!

Witch Hazel: Mystery Tree That Flowers in October

22 Oct

The Wilder Side of Oakland County


The witch hazel tree is a small, hidden in plain sight, understory tree with gnarly-looking branches. Perhaps one of the strangest and least recognized native trees of Oakland County, it thrives in most parks with rich woodlands. Witch hazel spans the American countryside, from the deep forests of Maine and the Green Mountains of Vermont, to the hills and hidden hollers of the Appalachian Mountains, down into the lowland forests of the South.

With Halloween just around the corner, this tree, with a delightful mix of myth, mountain lore and scientific fact, is flowering right on schedule. Unlike most northern plants, that select spring as the season of blooms, the witch hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) waits until the cool, short days of October to produce delicate clusters of spidery, fragrant, yellow flowers. Few, however, notice the flowers, for they are lost in kaleidoscopes of rich colors in the woodlands on the wilder side of Oakland County. But when the strangely beautiful, little blossoms are framed by a dramatic backdrop of red maple leaves in their deep crimson finery, they draw the human eye and make one wonder what the previously unnoticed blooms might be.

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The Woods are on Fire; with the Blaze-Orange Color of Sassafras

16 Oct


Sassafras (Sassafras albidum) has set our woodland edges on fire with leaves that transformed from a dull green to a brilliant flame-orange color. The history and lore of this beautiful native tree of Oakland County is as rich and eye-catching as the autumn color of its uniquely shaped leaves. Three differently shaped leaves appear on the branches of this aromatic tree. As Michigan residents, we all recognize the mitten shape, the simple-looking leaf is known botanically as ‘entire’ and then there is the unmistakable three-lobed leaf.


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Looking Back at the 2014 Brooksie Way

10 Oct

I am pretty sure that the thousands of the runners in the seventh annual Brooksie Way half marathon, are glad that the race is behind them, and they don’t have to see any more hills until next year’s race. The course starts and ends at Meadow Brook on the campus of Oakland University and runners run along parts of the Clinton River and Paint Creek trails, Rochester Hills and downtown Rochester.

The PlayOaklandCounty  team was present, scanning the QR codes on racers’ bibs to deliver real time results to the participants, answering people’s questions, and taking #BrooksieWay pictures for an #OaklandCounty Facebook album.

The event proceeds will be distributed as mini-grants to healthy living initiatives in the county by way of the Brooksie Way Mini-Grant program.


Top Finishers:

Donald Richmond of Portland, Michigan completed the course in one hour and eleven minutes. Clarkston’s Shane Logan finished 2nd, a mear 24 seconds behind the leader. Seven other runners completed the course in less then 1:20 on a perfect day for running.

Top Finishers in 2014 Brooksie Way Half-Marathon

1.  Donald Richmond – Portland
2.  Shane Logan- Clarkston
3.  Bryce Stroede- Rochester
4.  Leo Foley- Independence
5.  Michael Cox- Pinckney
6.  Mike Messina- Sterling Heights
7.  Ryan Beck- Royal Oak
8.  David De Steiger- Rochester
9.  Joshua Murphy- Kalamazoo
10.  Lee Shaw- Livonia

1  Nicole Monette- Royal Oak
2  Amanda Wolski- Dearborn
3  Kim Sanner- Macomb
4  Amber Dermyre- Canton
5  Anne Lovelace- Rochester Hills
6  Renee Cholyway- Pontiac
7  Katie May- New Baltimore
8  Amy Corby- Rochester
9  Roxanne Carr- Troy
10  Erika Vallie- Macomb

Click here to see a complete list of race results.

Keep in touch all year long with The Brooksie Way on Facebook.


‘Not So Spooky’ Halloween Happenings & Fall Fun!

9 Oct

It’s the perfect time to get your little ones outdoors to enjoy the ‘not so spooky’ side of Halloween and fall fun! There are a TON of family activities for you and your little ones to enjoy through the month of October, in and around Oakland County. You’ll find all kinds of things to do from pony rides, corn mazes, hayrides, face painting, inflatables, petting zoos, straw mountains and the list goes on…and on!


Here is our 2014 (not so spooky) list for Halloween & Fall fun.


Blake’s Barnyard Funland

Bloomfield Hills

Franklin Cider Mill

Bowers Farm Corn Maze


Long Family Orchard


Halloween in Greenfield Village

Farmington Hills

Heritage Park – Hayrides


Spicer Orchards and Cider Mill


Diehl’s Cider Mill

Oakhaven Farm


Addison Oaks – Boo Bash Camping


Wilson Barn


Kensington Metropark – Pick Your Pumpkin Hayrides


Maybury Farm

Three Cedars Farm


Yates Cider Mill


Stony Creek Orchard & Cider Mill

Royal Oak

Detroit Zoo Boo

South Lyon

Erwin Orchards

Washington Twp.

Miller’s Big Red

Westview Orchards



We hope you enjoy this fantastic fall season and all of the fabulous fun that comes with it!

Please be sure to check websites for times, pricing and specific activities.




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