Wyoming restores historic Ideal Park

WYOMING, Mich. (WOOD) — Wyoming officials say it has completed its redevelopment of a historic park, which was wiped out by a tornado six years ago.

Community leaders showed off the new features Tuesday morning, including a new playground and basketball courts.

Ideal Park was developed in the 1930s, even before the city was incorporated. But the park was nearly destroyed in July 2014 after an EF-1 tornado caused about $5 million in damages throughout Wyoming. The tornado also tore out about 98% of the trees in and around the park.

“This park on that night was torn away from this neighborhood. But today, we are here to celebrate the rebirth of Ideal Park — what some might say the 2.0 version of it,” said Doug Wustman, chairman of the Wyoming Parks and Recreation Commission.

For years, city leaders worked on a plan to rebuild the park. The redevelopment began in 2019.

The city secured a $300,000 grant from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to help pay for the project. The rest of the funds came from the city’s dedicated parks and recreation budget.

The city has invested more than $2.9 million in the park since the tornado hit, which included removing down trees due to the tornado.