Parks & Recreation

This division oversees and maintains Riverside Cemetery and all City Parks including the upkeep of all the athletic fields, swimming pool, Splash Park, and facilities within these parks. The division head is supported by an Administrative Assistant and three full time parks maintenance employees. During the spring and summer months, several temporary part-time employees are hired to supplement the permanent staff. These temporary employees help out with the additional landscaping duties and city pool needs. Applications for these positions are available beginning in March.

Along with its regular maintenance duties, the Parks Division also provides a variety of annual activities for the community. One event held every April is “Clean Up Your Parks Day”, in which an estimated 300 volunteers show up with their garden tools to aid in cleaning up the winter debris at their favorite park. The event is scheduled for Saturday, April 10, 2021 from 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. DETAILS HERE!  Find out HOW to VOLUNTEER!

Other events held in the City Parks are: Art in the Park, Music in the Parks, Children’s Lunch Program, Jazz Festival, July 4th Fireworks Celebration, D.A.S.H. Walk, Triathlon at the Reservoir, Maumee Valley Car Show, Strut Your Mutt, Alzheimer Walk, Defiance County Heartwalk, Hispanic Awareness and Morbapaloosa (movies shown on Saturdays during the summer months).

Shelter houses can be reserved through the Parks & Recreation Department (419-784-2745) for citizen use.

Every August, volunteers from the Defiance College (freshman service day) help with painting, cleaning, and general yard work. The Master Gardeners volunteer their time to plant flowers and maintain the floral landscaping of several areas.

Vital to the operation and policy-making of the parks system is the Park Board. This board consists of nine active members. Parks Board Meetings are held on the third Wednesday at 5:00pm in February, May, August, and November. This meeting is open to the public and is held at the City Service Building, Community Room, located at 631 Perry Street.

Park Services

Shelter House Rental Information

Reservations may be made the first working day of the New Year, and can be made over the telephone (419-784-2745) or at the Parks Office at City Hall, 631 Perry Street, Defiance, Ohio 43512. Payment may be mailed in or paid during the working hours of Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Shelter house rental fees are $50. Checks should be made payable to “Defiance City Parks“. Fees must be paid in full at least two weeks in advance. The reservation is not confirmed until the fee is paid.

Shelter house rentals are on a “first-come, first-served basis” unless they are reserved.

City Parks - Click each Park for more information.

Parks are critical to a community’s spirit. Without public parks, there would be little social interaction, no play space for kids, and no enjoyable outdoor resting or exercising space for adults. From splash parks to ball fields to playgrounds, these public green spaces are recreational areas that serve the needs of our community members.

The Defiance Bark & Run Dog Park is located at 11795 Precision Way, across the street from the Reservoir.

The dog park is run by the Defiance Bark’n Runners, and not the city. Many people think that we are a city park, but we are an independent organization. Your tax money is not going to this park — all of our upkeep costs come from donations and memberships!  Learn more about it here!

The Defiance Bark & Run Dog Park is comprised of two, one-acre fenced-in areas where small dogs and large dogs may be separated for safer play. This is plenty of room for dogs and owners to play ball and enjoy each other’s company. The park has trees for shade, a shelter house, benches and pet waste bag dispensers. You must bring your own drinking water since there is not a water source.

In order for dogs to play in The Defiance Bark & Run Dog Park, membership with an annual fee is required. Membership costs $35 for the first dog and $10 for each additional dog. Membership is valid from June to June the following year.

Membership Application

Memberships can be purchased at:

Just Dogs Grooming Salon
131 Broadway Ave.
Defiance, OH 43512
Open Monday – Thursday

Bronson Park is located on the south end of Defiance. The park was named after E.S. Bronson who served as the Mayor of Defiance for 4 terms.

Bronson Park is a 25 acre multi-purpose park consisting of two sand volleyball courts, two ball fields, three shelter houses, one basketball court, and playground area.

The newest addition to Bronson Park is the Defiance Splash Park, which replaced the dilapidated Bronson Pool. Click on the Splash Park link for more information.

Diehl Park consists of 39.77 acres. There are four girls ball fields and one boys field ball, two shelter houses, and a playground area along with the Kids Creation Playground. New playground equipment was installed in 2017, and lighting was updated for the ball fields in the 2001 summer season.

THE “KIDS CREATION” STORY:  “If you build it, we will play”

The Kids Creation Playground was designed by Leathers & Assoc. of Ithaca, NY. To date, they have designed more the 2,000 playgrounds all over the world.

Every playground is unique because it is designed by the children of the community. Leathers & Assoc. sent an architect to meet with the elementary students to determine what they wanted in a playground. Many adults gave the architect the history of Defiance. Leathers was able to combine all this information and design an incredible playground.

Over $150,000 was raised through a “grassroots” effort. People contributed in many ways: some put a penny in a milk jug, many bought a personalized brick that was laid at the entrance of the structure, some participated in the community garage sale or sponsored a component of the playground itself.

Over 1,200 volunteers showed up to help construct “Kids Creation” in just six days! The volunteers worked from sun up to sundown. Meals and childcare were provided for the workers.

Our community takes great pride in this playground. We built it, so now you can play!


Eastside Park, formally known as Compo Park, is located off of Karnes Avenue and has been re-energized with new playground equipment, a basketball court, a shelter house, and plans to upgrade the ball diamond. This Park is part of the Eastside Neighborhood Revitalization Project.

We welcome you to spend a few hours with the family to enjoy this beautiful park!

The Fort Grounds is located at 320 Fort St. and situated on the confluence of the Maumee and Auglaize Rivers. The Carnegie Library (Defiance Public Library) is also located on the Fort Grounds.

Fort Defiance, in the heart of a populous Indian Nation, was erected by General Anthony Wayne in 1794. The grounds of Fort Defiance, immortalized by “Mad” Anthony Wayne: in his successful campaign against the Indians, have been preserved and protected throughout the 117 years since Defiance was incorporated.

Aerial photos courtesy of Williams Aerial

Holgate Park has new playground equipment, new landscaping, and a new shelter house that was installed in the Spring 2019. The gazebo is an attractive piece for the park with the trees surrounding the gazebo.

This is another park available for area children as well as adults to enjoy in the City of Defiance.

HOMETOWN HEROES PARK is located at 648 Clinton St. and was established in September 2013. This park is one of the City’s most proud accomplishments with several community members collaborating together to make this park a reality.

The Hometown Heroes Park is a lasting tribute to the active duty men and women service members who are currently serving our great country. We invite you to stop by and view all the active duty personnel listed on each board. This is an ongoing project to show our support and to thank each one for their service. May God Bless America!

For more information regarding the active duty signs, please contact the AMVETS Post 1991, 1795 Spruce St, Defiance, OH 43512, 419-784-2356.

Kingsbury Park, Pool, and Pickleball  Facilities are located at 102 Auglaize Street, which sits along the Auglaize river across from the Fort Grounds.

The park consists of 15.49 acres including a ball field, 6 shelter houses, three tennis courts, a basketball court and playground area.

The Defiance Baseball Association also plays in Kingsbury Park.

Did You Know?

The construction of Kingsbury Park started in 1923 as a project conducted by the East Defiance Men’s Boosters Club. Much of the land was donated. Clara Latty gave a portion of the land on the condition that the park be named after the late B. Kingsbury, Defiance lawyer, and that the park continue to be used for park purposes and the welfare of the people in general.

In 1924, the baseball diamond was laid out and, until the pool was completed in 1929, swimmers used a roped-off chute and dock to swim in the Auglaize River. Roger Daoust was the contractor in charge of building the 120×60 pool and did so for cost along with the donated time, money, and labor of numerous volunteers. Also in 1929, approximately $1000 worth of playground equipment was purchased.

Information Courtesy of the Defiance Public Library, Bronson Collection. Image courtesy of Williams Aerial.

Kingsbury Pool

The $750,000 Kingsbury Pool Project began during the summer of 1999. The general contracting firm of Finnegan Construction Co., started installing the slide in February and pouring 175 cubic feet of concrete for the pool’s deck. The new pool is not be as deep as the old pool; 5 ft. is the maximum depth.

The pool’s renovation costs were paid with capital improvement funds derived from the City’s 0.3% capital improvement tax. A small amount was paid from the general fund.

Pool Hours

  • Big Pool and Baby Pool Hours (Weather Dependent)
    Monday – Friday 12:00pm – 8:45pm
    Saturday and Sunday 1:00pm – 7:45pm
  • Toddler Time Hours – Baby Pool Only – Special Hours (Weather Dependent)
    The Baby Pool is open from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM (Monday through Friday) for parents and caregivers with children age five (5) and under an opportunity to enjoy the water who may need nap time during regular pool hours.

Pool Admission Cost

  • Daily admission is $3.00 per person (adult or child) to the big pool. The Baby Pool is free for children five (5) years of age and under with an adult. No diapers allowed in pool (swimmies must be worn).

Season Passes

  • Individual and Family passes are available only at the Parks & Recreation Office, 631 Perry Street.
  • Individual Passes are sold for $60.00.
  • Family Passes (of up to 4 persons of an immediate family) costs $120.00.
  • *Additional family members may be added to the pass for a cost of $10.00 per person (of up to 8 maximum).
  • *A special discount price on Family Passes is available during the month of May for $100, for a family of 4.

Pontiac Metro Park is located along the bank of the Maumee River just north of downtown Defiance, at 315 East River Road.

Pontiac Park is the birthplace of Chief Pontiac in 1712. Chief Pontiac organized the conspiracy against the British in 1763. He federated the tribes with the aid of the French, threatened British supremacy. Chief Pontiac was killed in Illinois in 1769. A marker at on 24 North (424) along the bank of the Maumee River marks this historical spot.

Pontiac Park has been revitalized over the past several years. A fountain along with walkways, historical markers, swings, and landscaping have made it a peaceful gathering place for all. There is a boat dock for access to the rivers, as well as picnic tables to enjoy a lunch or dinner. Citizens meet here for our annual fireworks display, car shows, boat shows, and war re-enactments held throughout the year. Swings at the confluence of the Maumee and Auglaize Rivers provide a relaxing afternoon for all to enjoy. Take a stroll along the drive at Pontiac Park and enjoy the scenery.

Defiance is proud to be the home town of 2006 Indianapolis 500 Champion Sam Hornish, Jr. A monument is displayed in the park.

The Reservoir is located at 1261 Precision Way, it has a 9 hole Frisbee disc golf course located off of Precision, a 1 1/4 mile stone walkway around the top of the reservoir with 6 benches evenly spaced along the walk and another is at the handicapped parking near the boat ramp.

There is a 10 space stone parking lot with a boat ramp and dock for boats and a sledding hill with lights located off Kibble Rd.

In 2015 a 10′ wide, multi-use asphalt trail was placed the majority of the distance around the reservoir utilizing a section of the historical Miami & Erie Canal along Canal Road, which is the first phase of the proposed Nature Trail.

Click here to read more about the Reservoir Nature Trail.

The Reservoir Nature Trail is located at 1261 Precision Way

In our changing world, it is becoming more necessary to promote healthy active lifestyles. The Reservoir Nature Trail provides a boardwalk-style trail in the woods (approx. 2500’) with asphalt (approx. 500’) extending from the parking lot up to the woods. It is 8’ wide, creating a multi-use, wheelchair accessible pathway around the north side of the municipal reservoir through the wooded portion of the property. Linking these two trails together  creates a non-motorized, wheelchair accessible pathway around the municipal reservoir, connecting to the Buckeye Trail which presently runs along Canal Road.
This walkway offers opportunities for recreational uses such as bird watching, leaf-peeping, or just enjoying quiet walks through nature. It is intended that habitat improvement projects would be performed all along this walk to increase an already robust wildlife population. This is an amazing place for the people of this city and the surrounding area.

Riverside Park is located at 849 Riverside Ave. and consists of 30 acres with (1) one ball field and (4) four soccer fields.

Riverside Park recently received a facelift. The soccer fields were a nature works project for the City of Defiance. They were constructed by Rosengarten Construction, Ottawa, Ohio. This project started in September 1999 and was completed in May 2000. The final cost of the project was $56,000.  A 6″ storm tile was installed to help with the drainage and the fields were sloped with the necessary grade for proper drainage and yet playable.

The general contractor for the shelter house and restroom facility was Baker-Shindler from Defiance. Olson’s Electrical took care of the electrical end of the construction and Schumm Plumbing and Heating from Van Wert was responsible for the plumbing. This project got underway in October and this facility was ready in July 2000. The total cost of the project was $168,000.

The Defiance Splash Park opened on July 4, 2018. It is open from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. May through September. The Splash Park reopened on May 1st for the 2020 season.  The Park is inclusive and free to all.

Triangle Park – Clock Tower is located at 655 Clinton Street.

Triangle Park Photo by Debbie Stevens

Triangle Park
Photo by Debbie Stevens

Triangle Park
Photo by Debbie Stevens

Veteran’s Memorial Park at Latty’s Grove is located at 610 Williams Street.

Veteran’s Memorial Grove (est. 1947) – known for many years as Latty’s Grove (est. 1937) – is historic ground of great significance, and as such affords a fitting and appropriate background for commemoration of Defiance soldier’s sacrifice in all wars.

In 1794 General Wayne came to Fort Defiance by a route that lay through or near the Veteran’s Grove site. In 1812, General Winchester’s Camp No. 2 was located in the Memorial Grove Area. And here also came William H. Harrison, then a general, and Col. Richard Johnson, after a march down the Maumee river from Ft. Wayne to rebuild Fort Defiance as Fort Winchester.

In 1813, city park board member Abram Smith believed that Colonel Johnson grazed his horses at the Memorial Grove area.

Updated Playground Equipment – Summer of 2014

In past years, the Memorial Grove was a frequent gathering place for family reunions and other outdoor assemblies. It is still used today for the very same events.

Contact Information:

Parks and Recreation
631 Perry Street
Defiance, Ohio 43512



Office Hours:
Monday – Friday 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Park Fees

  • Shelter House Rental: $50.00
  • Shelter house rentals are on a “first come, first serve basis” unless they are reserved.
  • Daily admission is $3.00 per person (adult or child) to the big pool. The Baby Pool is free for children five (5) years of age and under with an adult. No diapers allowed in pool (swimmies must be worn).

Season Passes

  • Individual and Family passes are available only at the Parks & Recreation Office, 631 Perry Street.
  • Individual Passes are sold for $60.00.
  • Family Passes (of up to 4 persons of an immediate family) costs $120.00.
  • *Additional family members may be added to the pass for a cost of $10.00 per person (of up to 8 maximum).
  • *A special discount price on Family Passes is available during the month of May for $100, for a family of 4.
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