Parks and Recreation Facilities
Map of Parks
Parks benefit our community in many ways. They provide us with places to enjoy the outdoors, connect with nature and each other, and improve our health through exercise. Our parks also act as community gathering places for special events, sports tournaments, family picnics, etc. Our parks protect wildlife habitats and help sustain the quality of our community’s air and water. Every day, people of all ages are positively affected by our parks.
Oshtemo Township’s Board of Trustees recognizes the importance of parks to our growing community. Since 2011, almost $2.5M have been invested in the Township’s parks and historic community buildings. 68% of that investment, or $1,650,000, came from grants and private donations. The remaining 32% came from Township funds. These investments will improve the quality of life for all residents and increase the local tax base by attracting talent and businesses.
This infusion of funds was used primarily to upgrade Township Park and Flesher Field. Acquisition of land at the historic Drake Farmstead and development of a new playground at the historic Grange Hall were also investment priorities.
Each of our parks and community buildings are available for residents to enjoy. We hope you’ll get outside and experience Oshtemo’s parks today! If you have any questions or suggestions about our parks, please feel free to contact us.
Park Hours and Rules
Our parks are open daily from sunrise to a half hour after sunset. Alcoholic beverages, smoking, and the discharge of firearms are prohibited. Click here for a full list of park rules.
Oshtemo Township Park
This 70-acre park, located behind the Township Hall at 7275 West Main Street, is a great place to walk, play, or gather with friends. The recently renovated park features a playground, a paved loop trail, accessible restrooms, two picnic pavilions, tennis, pickleball, and basketball courts, a wiffleball field, and an 18-hole disc golf course.
The forested area of the park, with rolling hills and an overlook deck, features a network of unpaved walking trails and is popular for hiking, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing.
The larger picnic pavilion (40’ x 40’), shown at right, is available for rental. It is handicap accessible, has a charcoal grill, and holds 12 picnic tables. It can be rented for a full day (11 am – 8 pm) or a half day (11 am to 3 pm, or 4 pm to 8 pm). No rentals available on holidays.
Click to view dates and times available or download a rental application. The smaller picnic pavilion, also handicap accessible, is available on a first come-first serve basis.
A park map and disc golf maps are available below.
Flesher Field, located at 3664 South 9th Street, is a popular destination for field games, family gatherings, and special events. A key attraction of this 24-acre park is the large open sports field available for soccer, football, and other games. The newly upgraded park also features a playground, two picnic pavilions, two wiffleball fields, accessible restrooms, a .17 mile paved loop trail, and a gazebo and garden area. Park improvements were funded through a grant from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund with financial support from the Oshtemo Rotary Club, the Consumers Sunburst Run, and Oshtemo Township.
In addition to the active recreation area, Flesher Field has 12 acres of woodlands west of the sports field. The woodlands feature a canopy of white oaks interspersed with red and black oaks and hickory trees and support many species of wildlife, especially birds and butterflies. Future plans call for improvements to the informal walking trails located here.
Flesher Field is home to Oshtemo Fun Day, a free family event sponsored by the Oshtemo Rotary Club each August. The Kalamazoo Scottish Festival holds its annual Highland Games at Flesher Field in August.
The larger picnic pavilion (35′ x 35′), shown at right, is available for rental. It is handicap accessible, has two charcoal grills, and holds 9 picnic tables. It can be rented for a full day (11am – 8pm) or a half day (11am-3pm or 4pm – 8pm). No rentals available on holidays. Click to view dates and times available or download a rental application. The smaller picnic pavilion, also handicap accessible, is available on a first come-first serve basis.
Oshtemo Township’s new gazebo and garden area can be rented for outdoor weddings, concerts, and other special events. All rentals include the following:
- 20’ wide gazebo surrounded by garden beds filled with flowering shrubs, ornamental grasses, and wildflowers.
- A crushed stone center aisle designed for the bride’s big entrance with an aisle on each side for arriving guests.
- Lawn area with space for approximately 200 guests, gently sloped to maximize views of the gazebo (chairs not provided).
- Tent space, if desired (tent not provided).
- Electricity available at the gazebo and designated tent space.
- A 35’ x 35’ picnic pavilion is located nearby and can be rented with the gazebo and garden area for an additional fee. The picnic pavilion includes 9 picnic tables.
- The park also features a new playground, wiffleball fields, restrooms, a second picnic shelter, mowed playing field, and a paved loop trail. Please note that the park remains open to the public during your rental period.
- The park is open from dawn to half an hour after sunset. Events after dark are not permitted.
- Alcohol not permitted.
- Click to view dates and times available or download a rental application.
Oshtemo Community Center
The Oshtemo Community Center, 6407 Parkview, was originally a fire station. It was renovated into two separate rooms and is available for rent to Oshtemo Township residents only. The rooms have a capacity of 40 or 60 people and include a small refrigerator, sink, microwave, tables, and chairs. A shared foyer and restrooms are located between the two rooms. These beautifully renovated rooms are ideal for family get-togethers, baby showers, wedding showers, and many other occasions. They are available any time between 8:00 am and midnight.
Grange Hall & Playground
The Grange Hall, 3234 North 3rd Street, is a charming historic building with ties to Oshtemo’s agricultural heritage. With hard wood floors and a raised stage area, the air conditioned hall is a popular destination for dances and jam sessions. It is also a wonderful venue for family reunions, holidays, and wedding receptions. The upper level has a capacity of 150 people. The lower level has a capacity of 50 people and features a full kitchen, tables, chairs, and restrooms. The building is available for rent to Township residents any time between 8:00 am and midnight. Click to view dates and times available or to download a rental application.
The Grange Hall Playground was expanded in the fall of 2015. It includes a small play area with swings, a spring toy, and a spinner. The playground is handicap accessible and also includes an accessible picnic area and basketball court. Improvements were funded by a grant from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund and private donations.
The historic Drake Farmstead, located at 927 North Drake Road, encompasses 26 acres of land and includes an historic farmhouse that was built in 1852 by one of the Township’s first settlers. The Oshtemo Historical Society (OHS) oversees the rehabilitation and restoration of the historic house. Volunteers have spent countless hours restoring the beautiful brick home to the Victorian period. The historic house is open to the public for tours during special events. For dates and details, visit the Oshtemo Historical Society.
A master plan for the 26 acre farmstead was developed with public input in 2015. The master plan proposes new uses for the property with the goal of retaining the historic character and rural atmosphere of the farmstead. The Township and the OHS are seeking funding sources and partnerships to implement the master plan. Recommendations of the master plan are summarized below. Click here for the full master plan report.
- The Drake Farmstead will become an active history center, consistent with its past as a working farm.
- Educational programs will be offered for school groups, families, and adults on a wide range of topics, from agriculture/gardening, nature, local history, life of early settlers, etc. An outdoor education area and picnic-shelter style building will be created for outdoor education.
- Indoor education programs and visitor amenities will be offered in a new Carriage Barn. To offset the cost of construction, the barn will be available for wedding receptions, conferences, reunions, etc. The venue will also be available for a wide range of creative events, from small concerts and dances to art shows.
- An educational garden will be created for hands-on gardening experience.
- Hiking trails will be available and welcoming for all.
- A managed woodlot and a food forest will provide a venue for education programs on food production, woodland management, and foraging.
- An event lawn will be created for outdoor community events such as antique sales, art shows, historic recreations, etc.
- Touring the restored historic farmhouse will allow visitors to better understand life in the early years of the Township.
- Historically inspired gardens with a gazebo will be created for small events and weddings.
- Archival storage will be constructed to preserve and protect artifacts and documents from Oshtemo’s past.
Other Local Parks, Trails and Natural Areas
Following are other recreation opportunities available to the public within Oshtemo Township. These are under separate ownership and management.
KL Avenue Nature Preserve
This 70 acre nature preserve is located at the corner of 4th Street and KL Avenue. It is owned and operated by the Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy and will be open to the public in 2016. The site is wooded with rolling hills, walking paths, and a small parking area. For more information about public access, visit www.swmlc.org/content/our-preserves.
Lillian Anderson Arboretum
Located adjacent to Oshtemo Township Park and owned and operated by Kalamazoo College, this 140-acre arboretum provides an important research and recreation resource for both the
college and the community. While conservation and recreation are the primary objectives of the facility, low-impact recreation such as hiking, nature study, and cross-country skiing is permitted. For more information about public access, visit https://reason.kzoo.edu/arboretum/visit_the_arb/
Kal-Haven Trail State Park and Kalamazoo River Valley Trail
The eastern trailhead of the Kal-Haven Trail State Park, a 35 mile linear park connecting Kalamazoo to the City of South Haven, is located in Oshtemo Township. The trailhead is located on 10th Street, north of H Avenue, and includes parking, restrooms, water, and a picnic shelter.
The Kalamazoo River Valley Trail also terminates at the 10th Street trailhead, connecting Oshtemo to downtown Kalamazoo and beyond.
Organized Recreation Opportunities
The Kalamazoo Wiffle League is an adult league open to all wiffleball enthusiasts. Games are played in Flesher Field and Township Park on Monday and Thursday evenings. For more information, visit kzoowiffleball.com. Let’s Serve Tennis offers lessons for youth and adults in Township Park each summer. Information on 2016 lessons will be available in May.
Community Events and Private Events
Looking for a place to host a community event? Or a large private gathering? Both Flesher Field and Oshtemo Township Park can be reserved for events of all sizes. For community events, click here for a Special Event Application and fee schedule. All Special Event Applications must be reviewed by our Parks Committee. For private gatherings of over 200 persons, click here for an application. Pavilion rentals are available in Flesher Field and Township Park. More information, prices and a calendar are available in the park descriptions above. Flesher Field also features a gazebo and garden area that can be reserved for weddings, concerts, and special events. See above for more information. Questions? Contact Karen High, Parks Director, at gro.ometsho@hgihk or (269) 216-5223.
Volunteer with the Oshtemo Township Friends of the Parks. This non-profit organization is dedicated to supporting Oshtemo’s parks in a variety of ways. Service projects, special events, or educational activities are held each month. Our “Friends” plant wildflowers, clean out birdhouses, show outdoor movies, lead guided bird walks and winter hikes, and more! Our volunteer base is small but growing! Visit www.oshtemofriends.org for more information, or look for us on Facebook.
Support our parks by purchasing a dedication plaque for a memorial bench at Township Park, Flesher Field, or the Grange Hall. This is a great way to celebrate a special occasion or remember a loved one. Your tax deductible contribution of $1,500 will have a lasting impact on our parks. For further information, please contact Karen High at gro.omethso@hgihk.
Support Our Parks
Please consider a tax-deductible donation to the Oshtemo Township Parks and Recreation Endowment Fund at the Kalamazoo Community Foundation. It’s easy to donate!
- Access the Kalamazoo Community Foundation website at http://www.kalfound.org
- Select the Give Now button
- Enter the amount you wish to give
- Under Designation select “Another Foundation Fund”. Enter the Oshtemo Township Parks and Recreation Fund in the “other” box that will appear below.
- Enter billing and credit card payment information
- Give yourself a pat on the back for helping to ensure the future of our parks!
With volunteer support from the Friends of the Parks and the Oshtemo Historical Society, administration and day-to-day management of the parks is the responsibility of Oshtemo Township’s Parks and Maintenance Departments. The Parks Committee, a sub-committee of the Township Board, serves as an advisory body and oversees the planning, management, and budgetary decisions regarding parks in the Township. Two members of the Township Board volunteer to sit on the Committee and are appointed by their peers. In addition, two members of the public are appointed by the Board to serve on the Committee. 2016 members include Libby Heiny-Cogswell, (Township Supervisor), Deb Everett, (Township Trustee), Cheri Bell and Paul Sotherland. Meetings are generally held the third Thursday of each month at 4:00 pm. Residents are welcome to attend.