Parks & Recreation

Tom Svrcek- DPS Director

The City of Swartz Creek operates numerous park facilities. The two largest parks, Winshall and Elms, offer many recreational amenities including baseball, soccer and softball fields, basketball, volleyball and tennis courts, and play yard equipment for children of all ages. The parks also offer a full range of accommodations for groups such as restrooms, pavilions and BBQ grills. In the winter time, both parks offer sledding and an ice skating pond is created at Elms Park.

Parks & Recreation Forms, Documents & Important Information

Elms and Winshall parks are also available for daily pavilion and ball diamond rentals for parties and gatherings during the summer. Reservations are taken beginning on the first business day of the calendar year and must be paid for at the time the reservation is made. You can download the Park Reservation Form from the right column of this page. Due to popularity, weekend reservations for many of the pavilions are booked as soon as mid-January or February. It is recommended that reservations for large parties are made well in advance. Fees for reservations vary depending on location and pavilion.

In addition to Elms and Abrams (formerly Winshall) Parks, the City maintains a small park downtown, Bicentennial Park. This park provides a first come- first serve pavilion to residents.

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Park Rules:



AUTHORITY. These rules are approved by the city council and enforceable pursuant to the provisions of Section 11 of the Code of Ordinances of the City of Swartz Creek, Michigan.

APPLICABILITY. These rules apply to City of Swartz Creek parks, play fields, and other recreational public grounds, hereafter called parks.

  1. HOURS. City parks shall be open to the public, daily, between the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. and, excepting as provided in this article, it shall be unlawful to occupy or be present in any public park during such hours when it is not open to the public. Seasonal park provisions, including water, bathroom facilities, and waste collection will be offered May through October or as directed by the city manager.

Exceptions to use of or presence in park after hours.

  • It shall not be unlawful for city employees, while on city business, to remain in or on public parks during such times as the park shall be closed to the public.
  • It shall not be unlawful for persons other than city employees to be on or in park property after hours, provided that they have the prior approval and written permission of the city manager and that such approval shall not be granted except in pursuance of and when related to city business.
  • Non-motorized paths and sidewalks, within and outside of the right of way, may be used twenty four hours a day, 365 days a year for permitted non-motorized transportation and recreation.
  1. CREEK ACCESS AND FLOOD STAGE WATER. Creek access is permitted in Winshall Park at the risk of the user. Swimming and the use of any boat, canoe, or other floatation device within a city park during a flood event is prohibited except by emergency personnel.
  2. SMOKING. Smoking, including (e-cig or e-cigarettes), personal vaporizers (PV) or electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), is prohibited in the city parks.
  3. PROHIBITED USES AND ACTS. No person in any park owned or operated by the city shall:

    • Injuring, removing property. Willfully mark, deface, disfigure, cut, injure, tamper with, break, displace, or remove any buildings, cables, benches, tables, fireplaces, grills, light poles, fountains, tennis nets, trees, playground equipment, public utilities or parts of appurtenances thereof, signs, notices or placards, whether temporary or permanent, monuments, flag poles, stakes, posts, fences or other boundary markers, or other structures or equipment, facilities or park property or appurtenances whatsoever, either real or personal.
    • Kindling fires. No person shall kindle or build or cause to be kindled or built a fire in any park except in designated places. In those areas where fires are permissible, such fires must be contained in a receptacle designed for the purpose of holding a fire and must be attended at all times. No person shall set fire to trash, garbage or the contents of trash receptacles at any time.
    • Pets, animals. No person shall bring in, cause, or allow any dog, cat or other pets or animals which he owns or has permission to control to be brought within the confines of any park unless such animal be attached to a leash not to exceed eight feet in length; such leash is to be of sufficient strength to hold such animal in constant check. Disposal of animal waste is required.
    • Hindering employees. No person shall interfere with or in any manner hinder any employee of the city while engaged in constructing, maintaining, repairing or caring for any park property.
    • Restricted sections of park. No person shall enter upon any area of the park system where persons are prohibited from going, as indicated by signs, notices or where secured by fences and gates.
    • Firearms, bow and arrows, fireworks and devices. No person shall discharge a firearm or firework of any description while in or on park property, provided that such prohibition shall not apply to any peace officer while in the exercise of his official duties. No person shall shoot any arrow by the use of a bow, excepting in such areas as shall be specifically designated as areas for the use of bows and arrows. Crossbows, bolts, and similar weapons are also prohibited.
    • Peace, disorderly conduct. No person shall make or excite any disturbance or contention on any public grounds or park. (No person shall use any indecent or obscene language).
    • Drunkenness, alcoholic liquors. No person shall enter, be in or remain on park property while under the influence of intoxicants or under the influence of unlawful drugs or controlled substances. It shall be unlawful to bring into or use alcoholic liquors upon park property.
    • Drinking fountains. No person shall throw, discharge or otherwise place in the waters or any fountain, wash basin or toilets any substance, liquid or solid, which may result in water pollution or create a health hazard to the public.
    • Sleeping in parks. No person shall sleep, whether in a vehicle, trailer, tent, hammock or other manner, on park property during the hours the park is closed, excepting in such areas as shall be specifically designated for such use. Furthermore, such use in such areas shall require the written approval and authorization of the city manager, and such approval and authorization shall clearly designate the time period within which such use may be made.
    • Dumping articles in parks. No person shall deposit any rubbish, garbage or refuse matter, break glass or bottles in or upon any part of the park system other than such refuse accumulated from organized and acceptable activities within the park, and such refuse must be deposited in receptacles provided for that purpose.
    • Posted signs, rules and regulations. No person shall willfully disregard posted signs which regulate the days, hours for various activities, or any other signs installed, posted or attached for control, maintenance, safety or any other purpose within the park system.
    • Public meetings, parades. No person, organization, club or group shall hold or participate in any parade, drill, exhibition, political meeting, religious meeting, concert, lecture or public entertainment of any kind within the park system without the express consent and written approval of the city manager.
    • Advertisements. No person shall post, stencil or otherwise affix any placard, advertisement or notice of any kind upon or to any park property.
    • Offering articles for sale. No person shall carry on any trade or business or sell or display any goods, wares or merchandise in the park system without permission from the city manager.
    • Inflatable play equipment. Inflatable play equipment is prohibited unless arrangements are made in advance and a certificate of insurance from the party providing such equipment is filed with the city and includes a rider naming the city as an additionally insured party.
    • Non-Motorized Paths. No person shall obstruct, occupy, or otherwise use the non-motorized paths in a way that prohibits or unreasonably hinders use of the paths by others.
  4. PARK POLICE AND EMPLOYEES. No person shall resist any police officer or city employee exercising his duty within the park area, or fail or refuse to obey any lawful command of any such police officer or park employee, or in any way interfere with, hinder or prevent any such police officer or park employee from discharging his duty, or in any manner assist or give aid to any person in custody to escape or to attempt to escape from custody, or to rescue or attempt to rescue any person when in such custody.
  5. MOTOR VEHICLES. The operation of motor vehicles in any park is prohibited, except in that area laid out and appropriated as driving lanes, parking area, or for motor vehicles by the city. No motor vehicle shall be driven or operated on a driving lane at a speed greater than ten miles per hour.

    • No person shall stop, stand or park a motor vehicle except in such areas as may be laid out and designated as a parking area by the city.
    • No person shall operate a motor vehicle on any lane or service drive, whether posted or not, which is laid out as a means of access for maintenance employees to the various sections of the park system.
    • No person shall park or store any motor vehicle during the hours the park is closed in any park, parking area or driving lane owned or operated by the city. Members of the police department are hereby authorized to remove any vehicles so parked or stored.
    • It shall be unlawful for any person, whether a pedestrian or operating a motor vehicle of any type, to fail to obey any such applicable traffic control sign, signal, lane marking or other device, whether permanent or temporary, unless otherwise directed by a police officer or city personnel conducting city business.
  6. FEES. Fees for pavilion and other facility rentals shall be set by resolution of the city council. Fees may be waived in full if reservations by a non-profit are found to result in a public benefit directly or if proceeds from the reserved event are found to be a benefit to the city. Monies must be paid at the time of reservation. Cancellations must be made two (2) weeks or more prior to event date and all cancellations are subject to a $20 fee.

Deposits, in an amount set by resolution of the city council, shall also be collected for pavilion rentals. Said deposit shall be forfeited for damage to park facilities, failure to properly clean facilities, or violations of park rules that are found in connection to the rental.

  1. PAVILION RESERVATIONS. Picnic pavilions shall be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Reservations will be taken beginning on the first business day of each calendar year for city residents and thirty (30) days after the first business day of each calendar year for resident and non-resident applications. Fees and exclusive reservations are for weekends (Friday, Saturday, & Sunday) and holidays only.
  2. LIMITED USE FACILITY RESERVATIONS. Any club, school, association, organization or recognized group desiring the use of specific areas of any park, such as picnic areas, athletic fields or ice rinks, shall file an application with the city manager and shall not use the park or area until the permit is granted.

    • All permits shall require the permittee to clean up the park area after activity has terminated. All applications for permits must give the name, address and phone number of the permittee or the person responsible for the necessary policing thereof.
    • All persons shall honor any special permits issued by the city, for certain areas, days and times, to clubs, organizations, teams or any other groups, including, but not limited to, picnic grounds, ball fields, skating rinks, stadiums, provided that such permit is on official forms when presented.
    • Reservations will be given on a first come, first served basis beginning the first business day of each calendar year. Priority in the use of ball fields, soccer fields and similar athletic facilities in city parks shall be given to organizations scheduling regular games or matches. The city manager shall have the authority to designate organizations to provide for scheduling and oversight of use of athletic fields. Such organizations shall schedule use of the fields in a way that accommodates use by all interested organizations to the greatest extent feasible and to provide for compliance by these rules and regulations by all organizations using the athletic facilities.
    • The city manager shall have the authority to restrict use of athletic fields to avoid excessive wear and tear on facilities.
    • Organizations using athletic fields for scheduled games, matches and practices shall be responsible for removing litter from the areas used for their activities. In addition, organizations shall be responsible for removing and storing any equipment used in their activities. Installation of bleachers or similar facilities must be authorized by the city manager or his/her designee.
    • The city will provide refuse disposal and the maintenance of athletic fields in coordination with the needs and schedules of organizations using the fields. Organizations using athletic fields that undertake specific activities uniquely required for their particular use of the fields such as the installation of bases or nets, the painting of lines on fields, etc. require prior approval.
    • Weekend reservations for facilities shall not be permitted. Playscapes, restrooms, play equipment are not available for reservation.
  1. EXPANDED PARK USE AND RESERVATIONS. Swartz Creek-based organizations (defined as non-profit organizations or institutions with a principle office or auxiliary presence within the Swartz Creek school district) may be permitted the use of designated areas of city parks, including control during hours the parks are closed to the public, subject to the following conditions:
  • Use must be pre-approved by the city council.
  • The organizations’ use of the park area shall not violate any local or state law nor unreasonably interfere with the use and enjoyment of adjacent park areas by others.
  • The organizations shall hold the city harmless from liability for incidents arising out of the organizations’ use of the park area and shall provide evidence of insurance coverage.
  • The city reserves the right to direct where organizations’ structures are installed and activities conducted to minimize damage to park property and facilities and to limit interference with the use of adjacent areas of the park.
  • Fees shall equal the cost of all pavilion rentals for the park in use on a daily basis. Additional fees may be charged for services requested of the city and negotiated in advance, including use of barricades, additional utilities, port-a-johns, etc.
  • In no case will use result in a charge for or prohibition on general access to the park by the public, by vehicle or other means.
  • Reservations for this category can be granted by the city council beginning December 1 of the previous calendar year.


  • VENDING. Vending is permitted on a limited basis after application to the city manager and under the administrative rules that may be set by the city, including a background check and administrative fee.
  • PUBLIC NOTICE. The public shall be deemed to have been properly notified of the provisions of these rules and regulations upon their publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the city. Signs may be posted to insure substantial compliance with the provisions of these rules and regulations.

City Council Approval: June 11, 2018

View More Pictures of Elms Park

View More Pictures of Abrams Park (Formerly Winshall Park)


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