Frequently Asked Questions

Are there any job opportunities in the parks?
The Kent County Parks Department hires about 140 seasonal employees to assist in maintaining and operating our parks, campground and golf course. Candidates apply online through the Kent County Human Resources Department. To learn more, visit our Employment Opportunities page or go straight to the HR jobs page.
Does our group need a reservation to hold an event at a county park?
No. A reservation guarantees that a picnic area or a picnic shelter is reserved for your event. Many parks fill up with reservations on Saturdays and Sundays during the summer. If you’re planning your outing on a weekend date, we definitely recommend reserving a facility to be sure we have a place available.
Is electricity available in the picnic areas?
In some picnic areas we do have electricity nearby, but not all. We have about 60 different picnic areas in eleven different parks and features vary from one location to the next. To find out if the area you are interested in has electricity, please call our main office at (616) 632-PARK (7275). By the way, all of our open shelters and enclosed shelterhouses DO have electricity.
Can I bring my dog to the park?
Yes, but you are required to LEASH and CLEAN UP after your pet. Leashes must be 6ft long or shorter. Many of our county parks are natural areas, home to a wide variety of wildlife. Dogs running loose in these areas frighten or even endanger this wildlife. Some park wildlife may also be dangerous to pets, such as porcupines or skunks. Additionally, your fellow park visitors have come to the park to enjoy the natural surroundings and dogs running loose spoil their chances of seeing wildlife. Loose dogs themselves also may be intimidating to some people, whether encountered along natural trails or in our more developed recreation areas. For these reasons, loose dogs in County Parks are a violation of our parks ordinance and owners will be subject to fines. Finally, please note that we DO NOT allow pets at Pickerel Lake Nature Preserve or at any of our beaches.
Is alcohol allowed in the park?
A person may possess and consume beer or wine only within a County Park from June 15 to October 31 of each year. May 1 to June 14 of each year, a person may possess and consume beer or wine with a picnic, shelter or camping reservation. A person may possess and consume beer or wine in the enclosed shelter at Douglas Walker Park at any time with a enclosed shelter reservation. Hard liquor is not allowed, at any time, in Kent County Parks.
Can I do a photo or video shoot in County parks?
If you’re planning a photo or video shoot in a Kent County Park for commercial or educational purposes you must complete and submit this form at least seven days in advance of the proposed shoot. No commercial or educational shoots will be permitted without an approved copy of the form and any other documentation that may be required depending on the circumstances. News/community interest features and commercial filming or photography of private functions are exempt from this requirement. Please see the form for more details.
Are there grills available?
There is at least one grill in each picnic area in all county parks.
Can I reserve the ball diamond for my company picnic?
No. Ball diamonds cannot be reserved at this time. Most are available on a first come, first served basis, although some are scheduled for league play. For questions on a specific ball diamond, please call our Park Operations Manager at 616-632-7841.
Is John Ball Park a county park?
Sort of. John Ball Park is owned by Kent County but it is managed John Ball Zoo, a private, non-profit organization which operates the park and zoo through a lease agreement with the county. Please call John Ball Zoo at 336-4301 extension 4003 for park reservations or visit their website for more information or to reserve online.
Can I go snowmobiling in any Kent County Park?
No. Snowmobiling is not permitted in any county park.
Can my group stack up picnic tables?
No. Flipping picnic tables over, putting picnic tables in bodies of water, and stacking picnic tables are all prohibited.
Is hunting allowed in any Kent County Parks?
We allow bow hunting in select parks, BY PERMIT ONLY. Permits are limited and are issued through a random drawing of all hunters who have entered to receive a permit. There is no charge to enter the drawing, but permits cost $25. Entries are accepted by phone after Labor Day and our random drawing is held in mid-September. Winners of the drawing will be notified by phone.