After living in Ionia, MI for just over 6 years now, I am really not certain as to whether I would recommend it to anyone looking for a new place to settle down and call home. Several years ago I would have said yes, this is one of the best areas in Michigan. However, a failing school system, scarce employment prospects, and very little housing has dampened my opinion quite a bit. Mind you, the people here are great, and the crime rate is actually not too bad. There are just a number of things that have gone downhill and don't seem to be improving.
I will say there are some pretty fun and interesting things to do and see around here. We have the Frederik Meijer Garden and Sculpture Park, the Wizard of Oz Festival, the Boulder Ridge Wild Animal Park, Bertha Brock Park, and one of my personal favorite places, Klackle Orchard.
Honestly, it would just take a bit of commitment and work from the entire community pulling together to make things happen and make this place brag-worthy like it used to be.