Lawton Park

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Overview

Lawton Park is a 5.28 acre neighborhood park adjacent to Lawton Elementary School. It is on Mershon Drive between Delaware Drive and Scio Church Road, in the southwest corner of the city. View the Ann Arbor Parks & Nature Areas Map​ for location context. The park ​contains open grass fields and a softball diamond.

​​Park Notices

Unless otherwise posted per City Council resolution, when a park is closed, no person shall remain in or enter it other than to quietly sit or walk.​

Refer to Chapter 39 of the City of Ann Arbor Code of Ordinances for park regulations and rules.

Park Hours

6 a.m. – Midnight

Amenities

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Open Field

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Softball Field

 

Trash & Recycling​


 
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Access and Parking

The park is openly accessible on the park's west side along Mershon Drive. There is street parking on Mershon.

The park is accessible by foot and bicycle using the surrounding ​streets. The ​streets have sidewalks. Nearby Scio Church Road has sidewalks and one bike lane. There are no bike racks at the park.

The park is a short walk (5-10 minutes) from Lansdowne Park, Meadowbrook Park​, Churchill Downs Park, and Ei​senhower Park​.

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Public Transportation

There is a bus stop​​​​​ on Scio Church at Mershon, about a 2 minute walk from the park. ​​Visit TheRide for schedule and route details or check out the parks ride guide. ​

History​​​

Ann Arbor's city parks sit on the ancestral and traditional homelands​ of several indigenous Native peoples. Read a land acknowledgement​​ from the city and learn more a​bout the early history of the land here.​​

The park is linked with Lawton Elementary School. Both are named after Uriah William Lawton (1831-1905), the first superintendent of Ann Arbor schools from 1864-1867. He was principal of the Ann Arbor High School in 1862 and taught earlier in Tecumseh and Jackson. He was a Quaker ​from the Boston area who graduated from Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island in 1856. After his stint as superintendent in Ann Arbor he returned to Jackson in 1868 to be superintendent there until 1880. He is buried in Mount Evergreen Cemetery in Jackson. He died in January of 1905.​

Lawton School was dedicated in October of 1964. The 12 acre site for the school was purchased jointly by the City of Ann Arbor and the Ann Arbor School System.​ The school is located at 2250 S. Seventh Street.

A story about Professor Lawton was recounted in the Michigan Argus of Dec. 23, 1864. Entitled “A Gross Outrage,” the journalist recounts how Lawton punished​ several students by whipping them with a willow switch. They had been troublesome before and he felt it required this level of punishment. The biggest student in the class stood up, objected, got a poker and threatened Prof. Lawton. He finally left, but then returned with his father and the father of one of the whipped students. Taken by surprise, Prof. Lawton was assaulted by the three and sustained head injuries. The journalist was outraged and advocated serious penalties for the assailants. The result was a lawsuit filed against Lawton for assault, in which he was acquitted. This shows ​​just how dangerous teaching was in that era, which many perceive as idyllic.



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A2 Fix It

A2Fix It - Service request tool

A2 Fix It is an online system you can use to report any maintenance issues or other problems during your park visit. When reporting an issue in a park please include detailed location information in the "details and description" section near the end of the request process. Pictures that provide location context are very helpful.

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