The Parks Division is responsible for maintenance of highly visible, well-used grounds and facilities that are a major contributor to the quality of life in Ottawa. In addition to the parks, personnel assigned to this division operate and maintain Hope Cemetery.
Forest Park, in the northwest corner of the City, is notable for its mature oak and walnut trees and its array of recreational facilities. Included are a 475,000 gallon full size municipal swimming pool, 5 new lit tennis courts, 18 individual horseshoe courts, 1 basketball court, a lit baseball diamond and a lit softball diamond, and four playgrounds including a “tots lot”. In addition there are three restroom facilities in the park. Forest Park hosts a number of community events each year, including the Ole Marais River Run (a custom car show), the Power of the Past Antique Tractor and Engine Show, and Chautauqua Days (a July 4th celebration). There are eight shelters all with electricity and a small grill. Two shelters may be reserved through the On-line Parks Reservation Form.
Kanza Park, serves as a stormwater detention pond on the upper end of the Skunk Run drainage basin, but Kanza Park has been enhanced by the addition of a hard-surfaced walking track almost a mile long, and lit with salvaged Victorian fixtures from early 20th Century Main Street (downtown). The trail around the park has been incorporated into community events and celebrations, including running/walking events and a luminary display during the Christmas season. The park is adjacent to the Prairie Spirit Rail Trail. Click on: Disc Golf Map
City Park, which is home to the Carnegie Cultural Center, boasts a gazebo/bandstand used for summer evening concerts, weddings, and other similar events. The gazebo/bandstand can be reserved through the On-line Parks Reservation Form. City Park includes playground equipment, a pre World War II naval artillery, and an old historical cabin.
The Prairie Spirit Rail Trail is a rail-banked right-of-way that has been improved by the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks between Ottawa and Garnett. PSRT enhancements in Ottawa include a paved walking/riding surface ten feet wide from the Old Depot Museum to 1st streeet and from 5th street to 23rd street, a bridge over the Marais des Cygnes River, and a Trailhead facility immediately south of 17th Street. The PSRT passes immediately beside the walking trail at Kanza Park.
Haley Park, at the intersection of 2nd and Main Streets, is home to a gazebo-like shelter and the Mayor’s Christmas Tree, and serves as a focal point for downtown events.
Heritage Park, located on the northeast side of town, is among the City's most recent additions. It lies along Powhattan Street near Birch Street on land acquired by the City during the 1990s, and developed as a neighborhood park. This park boasts a walking track approximately 1/2-mile in length and a playground structure suitable for toddler to ten-year old children.
Freedom Park, is a newly-named small neighborhood park on Poplar Street between 2nd and 3rd Streets. Nearby are the Don Woodward Community Center and a Skateboard Park which was constructed on a pair of under-used tennis courts
Cox Field is a recreational complex which is home to the baseball programs sponsored by the Ottawa Recreation Commission. There are a total of 9 fields; 3 full size fields, 2 softball fields, 2 coach pitch fields, and 2 tee ball fields. The park includes two restroom facilities.
Printable Parks Map
Take the Ottawa, KS Parks Tour