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Former City employee now heads Maybury State Park
As a former director of Northville Parks and Recreation, and most recently, manager of Operations and Events for the Northville Chamber of Commerce, Sincock knows how to plan events and create recreational programs for individuals and groups. Now, rather than being at a lacrosse field or Ford Field, her new work setting is 944 acres of woodlands, rolling hills, meadows and a fishing pond. She also manages the state’s two public boat launches at Belleville Lake.
“Being able to go into the park every day, I feel very blessed to come here and work,” Sincock said. “Maybury State Park is so unique. It’s a piece of paradise in our own backyard. It complements the traditional city and township parks and athletic fields in southeastern Michigan.”
The 30-year veteran of parks and recreation administration will use her experience, knowledge and community outreach to spearhead the building of a new park headquarters and oversee additional trail work and park improvements. In addition, she wants to encourage more suburbanites to visit this urban gem.
“I was so integrated in the community in my previous jobs,” Sincock said. “Northville has incredible resources, residents that love to be involved and volunteer, and many businesses are interested in being involved with the park.”
The newest addition to the 41-year-old park is a six-mile paved, non-motorized path, extended in 2014 with funds from Wayne County, the City of Northville, Northville Township, the Department of Natural Resources, the City of Novi, and Northville Rotary. Pedestrians and cyclists can now enter the park from the intersection of Beck and 8 Mile roads.
“We have a beautiful nature area that people from Northville, Novi, Plymouth and other cities can now ride a bike to, starting from Hines Park in Dearborn,” said Sincock.
Maybury State Park is a community resource. Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts have their own camp programs, and the Northville Parks and Recreation Department has operated a summer day camp there for more than 30 years.
Parks improvements receive a lot of support from the Friends of Maybury, a nonprofit group that helps with stewardship, promotion and programming for interpretive programs covering natural, cultural and historical topics. One such program offers a viewing of the night sky, with telescopes set up and guided by members of the Ford Astronomy Club on Oct. 22, starting at 6 p.m. (View other events here. ) Another focus is on birding and maintaining bluebird boxes. Also, Friends are replacing deck boards and railings in the fishing pier with grant funds received from REI.
Friends of Maybury is celebrating its 20th year and welcomes new members. They recently held a historical program that highlighted how the park was originally a sanitarium “healing place” for residents of Detroit with tuberculosis, built with funds from the City of Detroit and former real estate tycoon William Maybury. Doctors cared for the patients who were quarantined in infirmaries on site, encouraging them to spend time outdoors, communing with nature, to help them heal.
Sincock says the most popular feature offered by the park is the network of trails that can be used for hiking and biking year-round, seasonal horseback riding, and cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in the winter.
A new headquarters building is in the preliminary design stage. The current headquarters is located in the house of one of the doctors who lived on site, off the Beck Road entrance. Built in the late 1920s, it is the oldest headquarters building in the state park system.
The park welcomes 446,000 visitors annually, and Sincock has her sights on increasing that number. “I hear consistently that people know about the park and have heard how beautiful it is but have never been here. We’d like all our area residents and businesses to experience this natural setting, which is truly unique in southeastern Michigan.”
Maybury Farm, also located on the park property, is managed and operated by the Northville Community Foundation. The farm’s programs and events are promoted by the park and complement the offerings of the park. Maybury State Park has two full-time employees and several part-time employees, along with seasonal staff.