City of Ionia

Parks and Recreation

Enriching the Quality of Life in the City of Ionia.

Meet the Parks and Recreation Director

Matt Painter, City of Ionia Parks and Recreation DirectorMatt Painter has worked with the City of Ionia in Parks and Recreation since July 2003. Mr. Painter was previously employed with Gus Macker.

Mr. Painter is a graduate of Ionia High School and a 1996 graduate of Ferris State University with a Bachelors Degree in Recreation and Leisure Management.

Current Responsibilities
As the Director of Ionia Parks and Recreation, Mr. Painter is dedicated to the department's "Mission, Vision, and Value" statement. This is a commitment to provide a comprehensive system of year-round quality recreation and leisure services designed to meet the needs of the community, including exceptional programming for health and fitness, and personal enjoyment and enrichment.

The commitment goes on to maintain and improve parks and facilities so that they are attractive, safe, and meet the community's physical and recreational needs. Mr. Painter oversees ten city parks, a river trail, softball fields, and the Armory Community Center with a gymnasium and two conference rooms.

Parks and Recreation Director's Office Hours:
Monday - Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Phone: (616) 523-1800
Fax: (616) 523-1803

Parks and Rec. Survey

Parks & Recreation Master Plan Update: Every five years, the City of Ionia updates its Parks & Recreation Master Plan. The plan is valuable for several reasons — it provides an inventory of all City parks facilities and rates their accessibility; it identifies future parks and recreation improvement projects; and it makes the City eligible to apply for a variety of grants to help fund those future parks improvements. As part of the update process, we want to hear from you, City residents, regarding what you find most valuable when it comes to Parks and Rec and what you’d like to see in the future! To respond to our online survey, please go to . The survey will be open through mid-August.

Ionia Armory Community Center

City of Ionia Parks and Recreation Logo

The City of Ionia Parks and Recreation department, is located inside the Armory Community Center, at 439 West Main Street, Ionia!

Adult and Youth Recreation Programs

The City of Ionia Parks and Recreation Department, offers recreational programs for adults and youths! Look inside the 'Gold file cabinet' on this page to find program information and registration forms for participation. Note; recreational programs will not appear in the gold file cabinet until it becomes available for registration.

Events and Other

The City of Ionia is pleased to offer a variety of recreational events. Check the red file cabinet on this page for more information.

Also; Available through Ionia High School

*Basketball Competitive Travel League, a youth program of the 'Red Cedar Hoops' is offered through Ionia Public Schools, for Girls and Boys divisions in 3rd/4th grades, 5th grade, 6th grade, 7th grade, and 8th grade. An Intermediate sized (28.5 in.) basketball is used. Teams travel to other towns and will be separated into geographical divisions.There are only two days in which you can register:

  • Wednesday, October 10th, at 5:30PM - 7:30PM, IHS sports lobby
  • Tuesday, October 16th, at 5:30PM - 7:30PM, IHS sports lobby.

Ionia Armory Community Center

Ionia Armory Community CenterSpecial Events. Whether it's a conference, party, meeting, or class, we can help. We have three rooms available at the Ionia Armory Community Center that you can rent for any event. Alcohol is allowed with a permit and liability insurance rider. The center is equipped with special needs accessibility ramps and an elevator. The Armory Community Center is a non-smoking facility.

The gymnasium is ideal for receptions and it seats 250 people. Tables and chairs are provided and set up for you. The Lions Room accommodates 20 people and can be used as conference style seating or a smaller group party. The American Bumper Room accommodates 30 people and can be used as conference style seating or a smaller group party.

Get Forms, Learn More. Check the red file cabinet on this page to download the Armory Community Center Rental Contract, Rental Rates and Rental Rules and Regulations.

Fred Thwaites Grand River Trail

City of Ionia Fred Thwaites Grand River TrailAmenities at the Fred Thwaites Grand River Trail include Picnicking, Boardwalk, Bridges, a Fishing Deck, and a Boat Dock. Download a Trail map and see a montage of Trail photos at the links below.

Balice Park

Balice ParkBalice Park is located on East Adams Street and offers swings, handicap accessible play structures, and a picnic area.

Fred W. Green Park

City of Ionia Fred W.Green Park Located on East Main Street, just beyond the 'Ventra' manufacturing facility. This City park is nestled alongside Prairie Creek. This City park offers a playground area and a pavilion. This City park is also the site of 'The Camping Ground of the 21st Michigan Infantry.' A dedication plaque is placed at this park in honor of the regiments gallant service in the Civil War.

Hale Park

Hale ParkHale Park is located at the corner of Lincoln Avenue and Division Street, and offers a playground structure, bathrooms for year-round use, three full basketball courts, a picnic area, a climber, and swings.

Harper Park

Harper Park is located on Bayard Street just west of Cleveland Street. This City park features a playground for the kids, and a nice pavilion, and a ball field, in which you can rent either through the Ionia Parks and Recreation department.

Recreation Program Information and Registration Forms

Use the information and forms here to learn about and register for the City of Ionia Recreation programs of your choice. The list is updated seasonally, so please check back for currently listed programs.

NEW SPECIAL EVENT! Age 15+ kickball tournament. Fun for the whole family! Get registered now. Sign up ends at 12 teams or 7/21. $225 per team. Tournament played at Harwood Sports Complex on 7/29.

Download Document:
Kickball Tournament 23' (PDF)

4th-8th grade co-ed tackle football. Players will be taught the fundamentals of football along with teamwork and sportsmanship. Varsity camp, camp t-shirt, team socks, season of play and game and practice uniform rental provided with $100 registration. Scholarships are available for those who qualify. Participants are responsible for purchase of a white helmet, mouth guard and cleats. All participants required to submit a physical dated after 4/15 of this calendar year. This program is done in cooperation with Ionia Public Schools.

Download Document:
Tackle Football Grades 4-8 - 2023 (PDF)

Youth Flag Football Sponsored by Ventra! COED Age 4-3rd grade. 2 Divisions: D1 -Age 4 -/1st grade D2- 2nd/3rd grade. Age as of 9-6-23 or Grade entering in the Fall. Full info in flyer!

Download Document:
Flag Football 23' Info Flyer (PDF)
Go to Link:
Program Registration Form, Flag Football

Learn fundamental Skills to play Soccer: Passing, Receiving a ball, Trapping, Dribbling, Shooting, Precision. Kids will learn teamwork, perseverance, and decision making. This program is for Boys and Girls ages 4 to 10. Four Divisions: Under 6 / Under 8 / 10 and Under / 13 and Under. Practices and Games begin in April. Games are played in front of the Ionia High School on the soccer fields. Soccer balls and goals are provided by the Parks and Recreation Department. Shin guards are required. Cleat shoes are optional.

Download Documents:
Field Map (PDF)
U6 Soccer Schedule (PDF)
U8 Soccer Schedule (PDF)
10U Soccer Schedule (PDF)
13U Soccer Schedule (PDF)
Practice Schedule (PDF)
Picture Schedule (PDF)

Boys and Girls, ages 5-12. Cost is per child for 5 weeks and includes the cost of field trips. Residents: live inside City limits $230.00 per child. Non-Resident: live outside City limits $250.00 per child. T-shirt, visits to Ionia Theatre, YMCA Pool, Ionia Skateland, Bowling Alley and the Library summer reading events. Campers will need to bring money if they want to buy concessions, if available on some trips. Counselors run activities, crafts, sports and games throughout the week at the park. Lunches will be provided by the Ionia Public Schools free lunch program (held at Jefferson Elementary school)Monday-Friday. On rainy days, camp is held at the Ionia Armory Community Center.

Download Document:
Day Camp Registration Form (Turn in at armory) (PDF)

This youth program is for all 4th, 5th, and 6th-8th Grades. The fundamentals of tackle football and skill sets are taught. You will be able to view an informational flyer when this program is available for registration.

Download Document:
Tackle Football Grades 4-8 - 2023 (PDF)
Go to Link:
Program Registration Form, Youth Tackle Football

Ramos Institute Tae Kwon Do, promotes Self Defense, Fitness, Health, Well-Being, and Strength. Experience the skill sets of Martial Arts with in-person instruction located at the Ionia Armory. Instructor will work on basic techniques, kicks, and punches. Contact Ramos Institute 2nd dan Black belt instructor, Mr. Kevin Cashen at 989-981-6780. Find out more about us at

Download Document:
Tae Kwon Do information flyer (PDF)

T-Ball- coed, ages 3 thru 6 years old. Participants will learn the basic fundamentals of baseball such as batting the ball off a stationary tee, catching a ball, running bases, along with entry rules of the sport.

Download Documents:
D1 (3-4) T-Ball Schedule (PDF)
D2 (5-6) T-Ball Schedule (PDF)

Department and Facilities Information, Documents, Forms and Links

Recreational News

Dog Park Coming Soon

The City of Ionia has received funding from a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) to construct a dog park downtown near the corner of Adams and Steele Streets. The dog park will cost $375,000 with 80% of the funds provided by the grant. See the site plan and renderings provided below to visualize what the park will look like.

Fred Thwaites Grand River Trail Improvements

Another grant was revived by the City for the reconstruction of the Fred Thwaites Grand River Trail. The expected project cost is about $540,000 with 50% of the funding being provided by a Michigan Department of Natural Resources Trust Fund Grant. The improvements include the resurfacing of 3.2 miles of trail, wayfinding signage, trailhead improvements, and paved parking. See the site plan below to view the scope of work for the project.

Temporary Trail Closure for Construction - Fred Thwaites River Trail

Construction on the Fred Thwaites River Trail project will begin June 2, 2023, and is expected to extend through July 24. During this time, the trail will be closed and public access/usage is prohibited. Barricades will be placed at all connectors and access points to the trail. This includes the west trailhead at the Ionia Fairgrounds, access points at Steele Street, Mill Street, Harper Park, and Cleveland Street
(including the parking lot), as well as Quarry Road.

For more information please view the full press release provided below.

McCann Park

 McCann ParkMcCann Park is located at the corner of Price Street and Hackett Street, and provides swings, a play structure, and a picnic area.

McConnell Park/Fun Forest

McConnell Park/Fun ForestMcConnell Park/Fun Forest is located on East Washington Street and provides a multi-station wood playground, a picnic area, a pavilion (can be rental reserved), and shaded play areas.

Meijer Skate Park

City of Ionia Skate ParkMeijer Skate Park is located at the Ionia Free Fair Grounds, Highway M-66 (Dexter Street).

Skate Park Rules
These facilities are not supervised and the City of Ionia will not be responsible for any injuries. A parent or guardian should accompany younger children. Skate at your own risk. The skate park is a City of Ionia Park. No bicycles are allowed in the skate park. All skaters should wear approved equipment including a helmet, knee, wrist, and elbow pads. Safety gear is strongly recommended. Keep safety in mind at all times while you skate. Be respectful of other skaters. No swearing, no littering, no glass, no weapons. Please put trash in the provided containers. Music content must be appropriate for all park users, and the volume shall be in conformance with City ordinances. Violation(s) of any City or State law, ordinance, or skate rules will result in a loss of park privileges. The Skate Park and all City of Ionia Parks close at 10 p.m., unless otherwise indicated.

Show More...

Perry Park

Perry ParkPerry Park is located at the corner of Jackson Street and Lincoln Avenue (M-21) and offers two tennis courts, two pickle ball courts, a playground, restrooms , an open field for play, walking, lounging, and a parking area. This park honors Mr. Gerrard F. Perry.

Riverside Park

Riverside ParkRiverside Park is located off Dexter Street (M-66) on the south side of the fairgrounds near the bank of the 'Grand River.'
This location is scenic, and provides optimum view of the Grand river, the historical floral building, and the steel pedestrian bridge that crosses the 'Grand River.' Plus; there is the 'Fred Twaites rivertrail' to walk, jog, run, skate, or ride a bicycle. No ATV's allowed.

Robinson Park

Robinson ParkRobison Park is located North of M-21 on State Street/M-66 and Fargo Street, and offers a play structure, swings, a climber, one full basketball court, and a brand new pavilion completed in June 2019 (can be rental reserved) picnic area, and is handicap accessible.

Shattuck Park

Shattuck Park City of IoniaShattuck Park is located on Colby Street and provides a picnic area, swings, and a basketball court.

Trailhead Park

City of Ionia Trailhead ParkLocated at the corner of Adams Street and Dexter Street (M-66). This city park features; a playground, a splash pad, and a covered pavilion that provides picnic tables, and restrooms. The 'Frederick Meijer Grand River Rail Trail' is adjacent to this park.

City Calendar

City of Ionia City Calendar

114 North Kidd Street Map
Post Office Box 496
Ionia, Michigan 48846
Phone 616-527-4170

Fax 616-527-0810

Business Hours:
Monday - Friday, 8:00a - 4:00p
(Holiday exception)


For local news and information,
tune to WION AM 1430/FM 92.7
or read the Ionia Sentinel-Standard