About

Ella Sharp Park is located on 562 acres along the banks of the Southwest Branch of the Grand River in beautiful Jackson, Michigan. The various topographies of the park range from relatively flat to heavily rolling and hilly. This geology provides a great location for a park full of fun and activities for everyone. The park’s borders hold a challenging golf course, beautiful flower gardens, miles of hiking trails, basketball courts, soccer fields, a golf learning center, softball fields, and many other facilities for athletics and casual enjoyment of the outdoors.

History

The acquisition of parks throughout the history of Jackson was largely the result of donations by civic-minded citizens. The largest park donation to the city was made by Ella W. Sharp who bequeathed her farm to the City to be developed as a park and maintained through a trust fund from her estate. Ella Sharp died in November 1912, and an executor was appointed December 1912. The Jackson Common Council accepted the gift January 1913 and appointed a three member board of trustees who defined the property boundaries in 1914 and commissioned Winiford C. Trout to design the park. Mr. Trout began development of the former 530-acre farm of Ella W. Sharp in 1915 with $40,000 from a trust fund she had left to the City of Jackson. Working with Fargo Engineering Company, Mr. Trout laid out the park roadways, planned the picnic and play areas, including the golf course, tennis courts, and ball diamonds, as well as the gardens. He served as park supervisor for more than 20 years, living with his wife and daughter in the Sharp home which has become the Ella Sharp Museum.

Facilities

West Pavilion

The City of Jackson is reserving Ella Sharp Park’s West Pavilion. This picnic area can be rented for a $50 non-refundable fee that will be charged at the time of reservation with an additional $25 if you wish to use the electricity. For more information or to receive an application please contact the Jackson Recreation Department at (517)788-4040.

This pavilion may be used on a first come, first serve basis provided this pavilion is not hosting a community event. Please call (517-788-4040) or (517-788-4343) Monday through Friday to determine availability. If you wish to occupy this facility, we ask that a representative is present at all times to prevent any misunderstandings. Please remember this is a community facility. Please try to accommodate all parties involved. If a consensus cannot be reached, please call local authorities to help rectify the situation.

No alcohol is permitted. All parties are responsible for trash and proper clean up of their event. Ella Sharp Park will provide extra trash receptacles if requested. Portable toilets are the responsibility of the listed company, not Ella Sharp Park. Please call the number provided for service times and dates. Please make sure all electrical devices do not exceed appropriate amperage outlet requirements.

Carters Corner Pavilion

This pavilion may be used on a first come, first serve basis provided this pavilion is not hosting a community event. Please call (517-788-4040) or (517-788-4343) Monday through Friday to determine availability.

If you wish to occupy this facility, we ask that a representative is present at all times to prevent any misunderstandings. Please remember this is a community facility. Please try to accommodate all parties involved. If a consensus cannot be reached, please call local authorities to help rectify the situation. * No alcohol is permitted.

All parties are responsible for trash and proper clean up of their event. Ella Sharp Park will provide extra trash receptacles if requested. Portable toilets are the responsibility of the listed company, not Ella Sharp Park. Please call the number provided for service times and dates. Please make sure all electrical devices do not exceed appropriate amperage outlet requirements.

Wedding Reservations

The Jackson Recreation Department will reserve either the Ella Sharp Park Rose Garden (near the entrance of Ella Sharp Park) or the Rotunda (across from the Museum) for your wedding. A $60 non-refundable fee will be charged at the time of reservation. For more information or to receive an application please contact the Jackson Recreation Department at (517)788-4040.

Lighted Softball Fields

The park includes 2 full service fenced and lighted ballfields. Field #1 has a scorer’s building while field #2 has a rain shelter.

Open Field Sports Area

The park includes 3 full size football fields, 3 softball fields, 4 full size soccer fields which can be used as 8 smaller fields.

Fishing Area

The park has a stretch along the banks of the Grand River which is available for fishing. The area is handicapped accessible and is located in the southeast portion of the park.

Paved and Unpaved Walking, Jogging, and Bike Trails

The park includes a 1 mile path that connects from Fourth Street with Museum and with the South Jackson Street entrance. In addition, the park also keeps some rough trails that meander through natural preservation areas in both the East and West sides of Fourth Street. These trails are ideal for walking, jogging, and cross country skiing.

Tennis Courts

The park upkeeps 4 paved tennis courts on a first come first serve basis.

Basketball Court

The park upkeeps one basketball court located at the South Jackson Road entrance.

Carter’s Corner and Other Playground Areas

Located East and West sides of Ella Sharp Park.