Community Input Sought for Long-term Parks & Recreation Planning


The City of Kalamazoo’s Parks & Recreation Department will start working on a new Master Plan and Strategic Vision this summer. The planning process will begin in June and include community meetings as well as opportunities for community members to offer feedback at Parks & Recreation events.

The Parks & Recreation Department will host meetings at the following times and locations:

  • Tuesday, June 12, 6:00 – 7:30 p.m., LaCrone Park
  • Saturday, June 23, 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., Southside Park
  • Tuesday, July 10, 6:00 – 7:30 p.m., Woods Lake Park
  • Thursday, July 26, 6:00 – 7:30 p.m., Rockwell Park

In addition to these meetings, Parks & Recreation staff will be available at Lunchtime Live! and Movies in the Parks events this summer to speak with community members about future planning. Lunchtime Live! takes place in Bronson Park every Friday between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. (from June 8 to September 28), and Movies in the Parks are held on select Fridays at City parks.

The Parks & Recreation Master Plan and Strategic Vision will guide park improvement projects and recreation programs over the next 5-10 years. It also identifies land that should be considered for future parks as well as current park space that is unused or not needed. This work will build upon the Imagine Kalamazoo 2025 Master Plan with a focus on more specific goals, including Inviting Public Places and Youth Development.  

The process was last completed in 2013 and included improvements to Woods Lake Park, Hays Park, and several extensions of the Kalamazoo River Valley Trail, which have since been completed. The 2013 plan also examined recreation programs and led to the expansion of successful programs and changes to programs that weren’t thriving. The 2013 plan is available in the Parks & Recreation Office located at 251 Mills Street.

Parks & Recreation Departments are required to update their plans every five years to be eligible to apply for grants from the Department of Natural Resources. Plans are required to meet specific guidelines including the entire inventory of parks, amenities, and programs.

Parks & Recreation staff expect to have a draft prepared in the fall of 2018 and anticipate approval by the City Commission in early 2019.


Fire Hydrants to Open Ahead of Heat Warning

The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat warning for the Kalamazoo area. Heat indices are projected to climb upward of 100 degrees over the next several days. Public Services staff is working closely with the Department of Public Safety to help control the number of fire hydrants that are open. Your cooperation is not only appreciated but necessary to help stop illegal and improper use of hydrants. Please note that there is a water park located on Florence near Burrell for all citizens to use and the Kik Pool at Upjohn Park is also currently open to the public.

The following fire hydrants will be open during hot weather daily beginning today from 1:00 p.m. to dusk by City staff:

Back end of Interfaith (building 1038) far NW corner
Burrell and Lawrence
Krom and Clay
Washington and March
Charlotte and Sherwood at Roosevelt Apartments
Clarence and Jackson
Norway and Princeton
Fairbanks and Center
Church and Norway
Elizabeth mid-block between Cobb and Westnedge

If you would like to request a fire hydrant be opened during warm weather, please contact the Public Services Department at (269) 337-8148. We also request your assistance in reporting any open hydrants in your area not identified above by giving us a call. This will assist us in keeping safe and reliable water flowing throughout the City.

City staff appreciates your help in safeguarding our infrastructure and avoiding unnecessary and costly repairs.

City Residents Reminded to be Safe and Respectful when Celebrating with Fireworks

Kalamazoo Public Safety would like to remind residents and visitors of the City of Kalamazoo that incorporating a few basic fireworks safety steps can provide for a safe and enjoyable holiday and avoid an unnecessary injury or fire. Additionally, the City of Kalamazoo has adopted rules and regulations relative to when and where consumer fireworks can be used.

Risk of private fireworks use:

According to the National Fire Protection Association (based on 2016 data), the risk of fire death relative to hours of usage is higher for fireworks than for cigarettes, making fireworks the riskiest consumer product.

  • The risks with fireworks are not limited to displays, public or private. Risks also exist wherever fireworks are manufactured, transported, stored or sold.
  • “Safe and sane” fireworks are neither. Fountains, novelties, and sparklers are designed to throw off showers of hot sparks. Temperatures may exceed 1200°F.
  • An estimated 11,100 injuries were treated in U.S hospital and emergency rooms due to firework related injuries.

Small fireworks, like bottle rockets, sparklers, and small firecrackers can appear harmless to children, but all fireworks have the potential to be dangerous. In the 30 days surrounding the July 4th holiday fireworks have shown to injure approximately 2400 children under the age of 14.

If you do decide to buy fireworks, be sure to take the following safety steps:

  • Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
  • Avoid buying fireworks that come in brown paper packaging; often, this can be a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and could pose a danger to consumers.
  • Never have any portion of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse.
  • Move away to a safe distance immediately after lighting.
  • Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not gone off or fully functioned.
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
  • Light one item at a time and then move away quickly.
  • After fireworks have gone off and fully functioned, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding, to prevent a trash fire.
  • Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.

Further information can be obtained at: and

City of Kalamazoo Code of Ordinances:

  • 15-30. Consumer fireworks prohibitions.
  1. A person shall not ignite, discharge or use consumer fireworks except during permitted hours on the day preceding, the day of, or the day after a national holiday.
    1. No person shall ignite, discharge or use consumer fireworks between the hours of 12 midnight and 8:00 a.m. of the day preceding, the day of, or the day after a national holiday, except that on New Year's Day no person shall ignite, discharge or use consumer fireworks between the hours of 1:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m.
    2. No person shall ignite, discharge or use consumer fireworks on public property, school property, church property or the property of another person without that organization's or person's express permission to use consumer fireworks on those premises.
    3. Consumer fireworks shall not be sold to a minor.

§ 15-31. General noise prohibition.

The ignition, discharge or use of consumer fireworks shall be subject to the general prohibition contained at § 21-6 of the Kalamazoo City Code, which addresses continued excessive or unusually loud noise, measured or unmeasured, which disrupts, injures or endangers the comfort, repose, health, peace or safety of any person within the limits of the City.

§ 15-32. Penalties.

A person who violates this article is responsible for a municipal civil infraction and may be ordered to pay a civil fine of not more than $500.

By authority of: Acting Fire Marshal Scott Brooks


City of Kalamazoo

Home to the Kalamazoo Promise, three institutions of higher education, two nationally recognized healthcare systems, cutting-edge medical research, world-class brewing and dining, outstanding parks, and an extensive variety of music, art, theatre, and cultural attractions.


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 (269) 337-8047
 (269) 337-8182
 241 West South Street
     Kalamazoo, MI 49007

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