33-acre Island MetroPark is an urban oasis conveniently located in downtown Dayton
filled with picturesque landscape and mature tree growth; a rich cultural heritage;
recreation amenities and opportunities abound; and a waterway that borders both
sides of the park. The park was originally a part of the Report on Proposed Park
Systems done for the City of Dayton. The report was submitted by the Olmsted Brothers
landscape architecture firm; world renowned and famous for enhancing the natural
beauty of urban sites with their designs. It’s noteworthy that the whole report
stems from the urging of John Patterson (co-founder of the National Cash Register
Company). In 1995, MetroParks started a rehabilitation of the park to protect the
character set forth by Patterson & the Olmsted’s; and now offers amenities needed
for today’s active and healthy lifestyles. They include:
Paved Bikeways/Recreation Trails
The park has over 2 miles of trails for walking, skating, running and bike riding.
The landscape beds of Island that border walkways; the playground area; and the
Bandshell is beautifully manicured to provide an urban oasis. The sycamore and maple
trees throughout the park provide a canopy for great picnic opportunities. The willow
trees that border the lagoon area makes for a serene passage down a small waterway.
Playgrounds and Water Play Area
The Playground and the Water Play area at Island MetroPark is an interactive waterplay system that provides an
active recreation opportunity, and supports healthy lifestyles for kids.
OPEN MEMORIAL DAY THROUGH LABOR DAY
Regular hours -
Memorial Day through August 14:
11a-7:50p Monday thru Sat; 1p-7:50p on Sunday
Late summer hours -
August 15 through Labor Day:
Monday-Friday 4-7:50pm, Saturdays 11am-7:50pm, and Sundays 1-7:50pm.
Four reservable shelters are available: Stillwater, Willow Wood, Red Bud and Bald Cypress. Chestnut Shelter is non-reservable, available on a first-come basis. A $50 deposit is required to reserve a shelter; call (937) 275-PARK (7275).
Island MetroPark was formerly known as the White City Amusement Park in the late
19th century. The park had a dance pavilion, amusement rides, canoe lockers, refreshment
stand, and other recreation features. In 1910, Dayton started leasing the park land
for $3,000 a year, and in 1911, a recommendation to buy the land was proposed in
the report submitted by the Olmsted Brothers. There were enhancements to the park
after the Great Flood in 1913. On July 13, 1913, the Dayton Canoe Club held is first
regatta. On June 20, 1914, the park formally opened as Island Park. The park became
an ideal location in the coming years for programming that included bathing, picnicking,
canoeing, boating, dancing, ice skating, water carnivals, evening band concerts,
and general recreation. In 1940, a Bandshell was erected, and opened under the name
of the Leslie L. Diehl Bandshell where programmed concert attendance totaled 80,000