John Ball Park is one of Grand Rapids earliest public parks. It is located in the western bluffs of the John Ball Park neighborhood and is the current home to John Ball Zoological Gardens (John Ball Zoo).
The land for John Ball Park was deeded to the city of Grand Rapids towards the end of the 19th century by John Ball. At the time of the deed, land was actually quite a distance from city limits, but the Grand Rapids has since grown to include it.
John Ball park has had several designs over the years. It originally featured a very formal design, with gardens and man-made water features (like the image pictured right). At some point those were all removed, and replaced by the pastoral style park we know today.
Apart from the Zoo, John Ball Park features a number of attractions, including a band shell, a picnic pavilion, a large playground, baseball and soccer fields, hiking trails, and a large statue of John Ball himself.