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Lawton Park

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 Park Address: 2125 Mershon Dr​, Ann Arbor MI 48103​

Ac​ce​ss          A​m​​​​enities          His​​​t​​​​ory

Hours and Rules

Open 6 a.m.-midnight with quiet hours beginning at 10 p.m. Refer to Chapter 39 of the City of Ann Arbor Code of Ordinances for park regulations and rules. Contact park​ rentals for policies and rules related to rentals and special uses and always refer to posted park signage in the park.​​ Smoking is prohibited, and dogs must be on leash.  ​


Lawton Park is a 5.28-acre neighborhood park adjacent to Lawton Elementary School, located 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 provides a tree-bordered open green space in the neighborhood and it contains open grass fields and a softball diamond.

​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 neighborhood streets. The neighborhood 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 Eisenhower Park​.

Public Transportation: There is a bus ​st​op​​​​ on Scio Church at Mershon, about a 2 minute walk from the park. ​​Visit The Ride for schedule and route details or check out the parks ride guide. ​

​Using a phone? - Click for a GPS Tracker and Wayfinding Map

picture picture


  • Softball diamond with benches and bleachers
  • Landfill receptacle (off Mershon)
  • Open grass fields




There are many opportunities for volunteering and getting engaged with the Ann Arbor Parks and Recreation Services Unit. GIVE 365 and the seasonal Adopt-a-Park Program offer volunteer opportunities ranging from a 90-minute commitment to a more long term ongoing role. If you are feeling the call to volunteer or give some time, reach out or explore the websites above to see what’s upcoming or how to get involved. 

Report a Problem - A2 Fix It 

To report any maintenance issues or other problem during your park visit, please report through A2Fix It​. Keep in mind that parks are large spaces and A2 Fix It requests can be difficult to find without detailed information. When reporting an issue in a park please include location details. There is a details and description section near the end of the request process to help you provide this. In addition, users can utilize the pin (website) or X (mobile app) feature to provide specific location information inside the park. Finally, please consider including a wide angle photo or include background landmarks, which helps staff find and fix the problem. ​​​​​​

Gifts and Donations

Information on donating to the parks and the Guide to Giving can be found here. Alternatively if you have a special project or park improvement idea that you want to donate your time and energy toward, a great place to start is through Adopt-a-Park and the proposing a special park project​ guide. For information on donating a tree through Adopt-a-Park, the tree donation guide​​​​​​​ can help you get started.


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

The park is linked with Lawton Elementary School and is 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 originally 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 where 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 and was designed for use as both a park and a school. 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 reprimanded 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 while students were yelling “kill him” and “give it to him."  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 illustrates just how dangerous teaching was in that era, which many perceive as idyllic.

​Updated October​​ 2022. Email [email protected] for incorrect/outdated information.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​