Lake Norcentra Park

Lake Norcentra Park

Welcome to Lake Norcentra Park

Located on the campus of Rochester Christian University, Lake Norcentra Park is a peaceful setting of towering trees, scenic bluffs, a small lake, and a pond. A favorite spot for the campus community since the university opened in 1959, the park and adjoining estate house were formerly owned by Detroit advertising executive Lou Maxon. The park’s natural beauty and intriguing history make it a memorable place for the campus community and visitors alike.

A Gem on the Clinton River Trail

Most people in the Rochester region did not know about Lake Norcentra Park until the Clinton River Trail opened in 2005. During warm weather, hundreds of bicyclists, runners, and walkers pass by the park every day on the popular trail. In recent years, the university has opened the park to the community and visitors from the Clinton River Trail. Come and enjoy the beautiful surroundings of Lake Norcentra Park!

Volunteer Opportunities

Individual and Group Opportunities

Volunteers play an integral role in Lake Norcentra Park improvement efforts. Both individuals and groups are encouraged to assist with such special projects as:

  • Trimming Trees and Bushes
  • Painting Park Furniture and Park Buildings
  • Landscaping
  • Park Cleanup
  • Small Carpentry Projects

Volunteer Sign Up

If you are interested in arranging volunteer services either for yourself or a group, please submit the online volunteer form here. 

Donation Opportunities

Park Improvement Fund

Your gifts to Lake Norcentra Park provide funding for continued park improvements. Your gifts are tax deductible and make it possible for others to enjoy an even better environment in Lake Norcentra Park. Please consider providing support for the park improvement fund.

Park Enhancements with Naming Potential

Additional enhancements are planned for Lake Norcentra Park. When you sponsor one of these projects, you establish a legacy and make your own mark on the park and the Rochester community. For more information about these projects and other possible naming options, contact Larry Stewart at lstewart@RochesterU.edu.

Benches and Picnic Tables

You may purchase picnic tables and/or benches for Lake Norcentra Park that include a plaque on each item. This is a great way to honor relatives, classmates, or other individuals who have influenced your life. The tables and benches are made of durable polywood. While this material is considerably more expensive than wood, it does not require painting and is well suited for long-term use. Picnic tables may be purchased for $1,400 each and benches for $1,300 by accessing the donate button below. Be sure to specify in the comment section under tribute gift which item(s) you are funding. If the gift is being made in memory or honor of someone, specify the name(s) as well.

Park Development

Rochester Christian University hosted a two-day design charrette in 2014 to generate a conceptual plan for Lake Norcentra Park. Representatives of several community organizations participated in the event, which resulted in the development of a master plan for the park. Since 2014, many of those plans have been achieved and significant features have been added to the park. Additional improvements and further enhancements will occur in future years as volunteers and funding become available.

2022 Accomplishment

  • Gresham-Todd Amphitheatre construction
  • Construction of new stairway from Gallaher patio to amphitheatre

2021 Accomplishments

  • Rerouting of Clinton River to stop riverbank erosion
  • Improved views of Clinton River from park

2020 Accomplishment

  • Undergrowth clearing along Clinton River Trail

2019 Accomplishments

  • Maintenance shop removal
  • Park spring clean-up (Lake Norcentra Park Volunteer Day)
  • Original gymnasium renovation
  • Slater-Montgomery Family Chapel construction on maintenance shop site
  • Addition of chairs and tables to Gallaher patio

2018 Accomplishments

  • Dredging of area between Lake Norcentra and pond
  • Installation of two gazebos
  • Completion of deck overlooking Lake Norcentra
  • Park spring clean-up (Lake Norcentra Park Volunteer Day)
  • Lakefront and mural site clean-up (Elevate summer camp volunteers)
  • Reconstruction of Gallaher patio overlooking Lake Norcentra

2017 Accomplishments

  • Completion of Rochester Community Mural painting process (community volunteers)
  • Blocking of gym windows in preparation for Rochester Community Mural installation (masons provided by Wolverine Construction)
  • Bicycle rack and bicycle repair station installation at picnic area entrance (funded by Brooksie Way mini-grant)
  • Park spring clean-up and landscaping (Lake Norcentra Park Volunteer Day)
  • Painting of park benches, picnic tables, and bridge (Lake Norcentra Park Volunteer Day)
  • Painting of picnic tables and mural site clean-up (Rochester Church of Christ Project One 22 volunteers)
  • LED lighting installation throughout park
  • Installation of fountains and aerators in Lake Norcentra
  • Removal of fallen trees from Lake Norcentra’s south bluff
  • Rochester Community Mural installation (sponsored by Chief Financial Credit Union)
  • Lakefront and mural site final clean-up (Elevate summer camp volunteers)
  • Painting of maintenance shop (Elevate summer camp volunteers)
  • Warrior Center and Gallaher stairway landscaping
  • Wayfinding and historical signage
  • Foundation for deck overlooking Lake Norcentra (Rochester Church of Christ Project One 22 volunteers)

2016 Accomplishments

  • Park spring clean-up and landscaping (Lake Norcentra Park Volunteer Day)
  • Painting of Warrior Center for picnic area (Elevate summer camp volunteers)
  • Removal of 35 dead and dying trees
  • Picnic area landscaping (Rochester Church of Christ Project One 22 volunteers)
  • Pathways to Clinton River Trail (Wolverine Construction volunteers and City of Rochester Hills)
  • Entrance signs from Clinton River Trail (City of Rochester Hills)
  • Contest for mural on Clinton River Trail (sponsored by Chief Financial Credit Union)
  • Picnic area landscaping and mural site preparations (Rochester Church of Christ Project One 22 volunteers)
  • Patronicity campaign to fund park improvements
  • Rochester Community Mural painting launch (community volunteers)

2015 Accomplishments

  • Park design element refinement (Team-4-Community)
  • Overgrowth clearing for picnic area and other park clean-up projects (Lake Norcentra Park Volunteer Day)
  • Stairway repairs and painting projects (student volunteers)
  • Pump house door construction and tree trimming (Rochester Church of Christ Project One 22 volunteers)
  • Benches and picnic tables (Home Depot and Good Karma Club volunteers)
  • Riverfront Clean-up (Clinton River Watershed Council volunteers)
  • Light pole banners

Tours & Information

Learn how to take a Tour of our beautiful Lake Norcentra Park!