Our mission is to provide a balance of recreation activities for persons of all ages and abilities. We strive to meet the diverse interests of all community members in the greater Manistee area while emphasizing healthy habits, respect, self importance and fun.

History of MRA

The Manistee Recreation Association is a 501 (c) (3) non profit organization. The Manistee Recreation Association (MRA) was established in 1942 and founded by a group of high school youth that claimed they were looking for recreation and recreational activities in the Manistee area. As a result of our volunteers, municipalities and further help the MRA is still alive and thriving today.

The MRA is funded by the City of Manistee, the County of Manistee, local townships (Brown, Filer, Manistee, Bear Lake and Onekama), area business sponsors, the Manistee United Way agency and program user fees. The MRA has participated in many community events and partnered with other local agencies to provide a variety of programs for every age group and family. Some of these include HAM Week (Healthy Active Manistee) with the Non-Motorized Transportation Committee, Family Nights with the Portage Lake Covenant Bible Camp, Kids Tennis Academy with the Manistee Kiwanis and Hunters Safety with the Manistee Muzzleloaders.

The MRA uses area facilities for all of our programs, including Duffy Park (Soccer Fields), Paine Aquatic Center (Swimming Lessons and Water Aerobics), the Manistee Armory (Soft Soccer Clinic and Men’s Basketball League), Kiwanis Hamlin Park and the Onekama and Manistee Public Schools.

Through the years our programs may have changed but we feel that our concentration and emphasis here at the MRA has not. We want to provide the Manistee area sports and recreation with safety, sportsmanship, participation and most of all fun. We encourage team work, family involvement and learning experiences among all of our activities.


Stephanie Carpenter, 

Executive Director


Current Board Members 

  • Mitch Deisch - Board President (City of Manistee)

  • Dursa Marshall - Treasury (Filer Township) 

  • Matt Keiffer - Secretary (Onekama)

  • Michael (Mick) Szymanski - Board Member (City of Manistee)

  • Eric Ware - Board Member (Bear Lake)

  • Kevin Schmutzler - Board Member (City of Manistee)

Board Meetings

The Board of Directors meet monthly on Mondays, 6:00PM at the MRA office (with the exception of July).  The Annual Meeting is held in January.  All meetings are subject to the Open Meetings Act and the public is welcome.