Located in the north-central part of Emporia, south of 18th Avenue and more or less between Merchant and State Streets is Hammond Park, one of the City's major parks.
Hammond Park was made possible by the Emporia Rotary Club, with purchases spanning a 20-year period beginning in 1928, resulting in a ten-acre site. Originally named Rotary Park, the name was later changed to honor an early pioneer who built the first hotel, houses, and the first normal school in Emporia.
Hammond Park contains a large shelter house, charcoal burners, a "toadstool" shelter, two comfort stations (one is handicap accessible and was built in 1995), three lighted tennis courts (resurfaced 2005), numerous stone fireplaces and bridges, rock walls, picnic facilities, drinking fountain, a basketball court, an adult swing and several pieces of playground equipment.
This park is heavily used; a very popular site for family reunions and picnics. One of the reasons for this is that the shelter house located there can be reserved through the Parks and Zoo Office 341-4365. In addition to the many reunions, there are other groups and companies that use the shelter for meetings and picnics.
Plans for possible improvements here would include the repair and replacement of some of the old rock structures; and as funding becomes available, installation of additional playground equipment.
The primary problems facing this park include the restricted parking space in the area adjacent to the shelter house and the domination of existing parking lots by the residents of neighboring apartments and Emporia State University students.
Concentrated landscaping efforts are conducted at the northeast corner of Hammond Park as this is one of the entrances to Emporia.