Park Address: 2680 Emerald Ave, Ann Arbor MI 48104
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. Smoking is prohibited, and dogs must be on leash.
The Ponds Park is a lovely 2.23-acre park tucked into neighborhoods on the south side of Ann Arbor. View the Ann Arbor Parks and Nature Areas map for location context.
The park has two distinct areas:
The developed area, the southern portion of the park along Emerald Avenue, is about a quarter of the total park area, at 0.57 acres. This area features a playground, a garden, and a mowed open field. The playground is equipped with a swing set, sandbox, crawl tube, merry-go-round, and large play structure with two slides. Parents and caregivers can watch children from the nearby benches or from the perimeter sidewalk. The garden features shade trees as well as three-season flowering perennials, including daffodils, irises, daisies, sundrops, sedums, and fountain grasses. Two picnic tables and a grill are also available.
The wooded natural area, the northern portion of the park, comprises 1.66 acres of the park. One of the trailhead entries to the natural area is at the edge of the mowed open field that borders Emerald Avenue. From this entry, a nature trail leads north, exiting on Victoria Avenue. In this natural area, a few large trees, especially cottonwoods, tower over the dense understory. Please note that the water features to the west of the natural area of The Ponds Park are part of the apartment complex, not part of the public park.
Access and Parking
The main entrance to the park is on Emerald Avenue, at the corner of Candlewick Drive, where the playground is visible. There is street parking along Emerald Avenue.
The park can be reached on foot and bicycle by walking and biking along the surrounding neighborhood streets. There are sidewalks along Emerald. There is a path connection to the Ponds at Georgetown Apartments which borders the park on the west side. There is a trail entrance to the natural area off of Victoria Avenue on the park's north side. There are no bike racks at the park.
Public Transportation: There are several bus stops along Packard Street, about a 5 to 10 minute walk from the park. Visit The Ride for closest stops and route details or check out the parks ride guide.
Using a phone? - Click for a GPS Tracker and Wayfinding Map
- Benches and picnic tables
- Playground with structure, swings, sandbox, crawl tube, and merry-go-round
- Open grass field
- Paved path and unpaved trail
- Landfill receptacle
There are ongoing and limitless 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. Natural Area Preservation also has volunteer opportunities that support their mission to protect and restore Ann Arbor's natural areas and to foster an environmental ethic within the community. 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. 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 acknowledgement from the city and learn more about the early history of the land here.
The original land for The Ponds was acquired by the city in 1989, when the Ponds at Georgetown apartments were built and the developers ceded 1.66 acres to the city to be dedicated as The Ponds Park in perpetuity. The park was expanded in 1999 after soliciting public input. Many neighbors expressed support in having the park expanded to provide open space in the neighborhood. The city acquired two lots from the Hearthstone Subdivision that would have been used for housing and converted those to the park frontage that goes along Ember Way. This acquisition increased the park's size from its original 1.66 acres to 2.25. Read a more in-depth history written by The Ponds Park Adopter Karis Crawford: History of The Ponds Park
Check out a NAP Newsletter article detailing the natural area in The Ponds and a new trail: 2017 Park Focus: The Ponds by Katie Carlisle
Active Park Adopters
A group of The Ponds Park neighbors are committed to helping with beautification and maintenance at the park including maintaining a perennial garden, spreading woodchips on the playground, and advocating for improvements. If you are interested in being another set of helping hands at this lovely neighborhood park, let us know! Email [email protected] or call 734-794-6445.
Updated November 2022. Email [email protected] for incorrect/outdated information.