The Parks Division operates and maintains Kettering’s 21 parks, as well as other open spaces such as street medians and the land surrounding the Kettering Government Center, Polen Farm and the city’s firehouses. Kettering’s parks range from the 95.2-acre Indian Riffle Park, 2801 E. Stroop Road, to the 0.8-acre Glaser Park, 1851 Doris Drive.
Reservable Picnic Shelters are located at Delco Park, Indian Riffle Park, Ernst Park and Irelan Park. Non-reservable shelters (first-come first-served basis) are located at Kennedy Park, Oak Park, State Farm Park, Tait Park, Van Buren Park and Wenzler Park (see the Parks List for locations).
A fishing license is not required to fish in the Kettering Park ponds. The City of Kettering fishing ponds are located at Delco Park, Indian Riffle Park, Lincoln Park Civic Commons and Pondview Park.
Kennedy Splash Pad: Closing for the season on Monday, September 15, 2014.Register online for environmental programs!
The Parks Division’s efforts in keeping Kettering green have been recognized by receiving the Tree City Award for the last 31 years. Nearly 1,800 trees and shrubs were planted on city-owned properties and public right-of-ways last year.
Rob Dyrdek/DC Shoes Skate Plaza: This street-skating plaza is approximately 40,000 square feet and is designed for street skateboarding by incorporating urban terrain elements such as benches, rails and ledges. Unlike most modern day skate parks that consist of stark vertical ramps and half pipes, the skate plaza resembles a public square in a town or city by incorporating landscaping and art to create a multi-use park that is aesthetically pleasing. The Skate Plaza is located inside Indian Riffle Park, 2801 East Stroop Road.
Lincoln Park Civic Commons is a magnificent, award-winning park featuring reflecting pools, fountains, patios, flowers, walking paths and a 2-acre pond. Civic Commons has become the center for community wide events such as the Mayor’s Annual Holiday Tree Lighting and Art on the Commons, as well as a favorite destination for those who just want a breath of fresh air. It’s also home to the Fraze Pavilion for the Performing Arts, which offers a variety of performances and festivals from May through September.
Kennedy Splash Pad: The splash pad is free and open seven days a week, from sunrise to sunset, May through September. It is conveniently located at 5073 Bigger Road, close enough to ride a bike or walk. Splash Pad will be closing for the season on Monday, September 15, 2014!
The Kennedy Park shelters are available on a first-come first-served basis only and cannot be reserved.
Pondview Park: In early 2011, Pondview Park underwent a $760,000 upgrade to create Ohio’s first self-guided environmental park designed to help people of all abilities experience nature. The renovations were extensive and included the addition of a fully accessible trail system, six learning pods, scenic overlooks and observation points, a forest growth learning site, prairie restoration and a butterfly garden.
The newly renovated park opened to rave reviews in April of 2011, and has quickly become a destination point for families, class field trips, and individuals of all abilities. $426,000 of the original funding was made possible by a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to The Dayton Foundation, and in May, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation announced that it was allowing select organizations to apply for additional funding. This funding is to be used for site upgrades that were not originally addressed with the initial construction, or to resolve issues that were identified post construction.
The Dayton Foundation applied on behalf of the Kettering Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts Department and was awarded a follow-up grant of $106,000. This funding will be utilized for site upgrades and improvements. The plans will be created using universal design elements to keep the integrity of the initial concept and ensure that individuals of all abilities will have full access to the entire park.
“We are extremely thankful to the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and The Dayton Foundation for enabling us to make these additional renovations” Stated Mary Beth Thaman, Director Kettering Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts “The initial project has been so well received by the community and we are pleased to be able to further enhance this already amazing facility.”
The city’s parks offer many special features. Indian Riffle features a Skate Park, a sledding hill and the award-winning Playground for All, an innovative playground that allows kids with disabilities to play alongside their peers. Delco Park features a BMX track; and there are fishing ponds at Delco, Civic Commons, Indian Riffle and Pondview parks.
In addition to these features, Kettering’s parks offer 32 tennis courts, 41 baseball/softball diamonds and 20 football/soccer fields and over 35 miles of multi-purpose trails. Polen Farm is not technically a park, but its 15 acres include open space, stately oak trees and extensive landscaping.
In recent years, the department has placed great emphasis in making the city’s parks, playground equipment, shelters and restrooms accessible to people with disabilities.