West Mich. city redevelops park that was ravaged by tornado

Associated Press
Improvments at Wyoming's Ideal Park include an accessible playground, improved parking with enhanced safety features, Buck Creek viewing stations, a basketball court, shelter, and restroom.

Wyoming – A western Michigan park that was damaged six years ago by a tornado has been redeveloped.

The city of Wyoming has invested more than $2.9 million in Ideal Park after the tornado nearly destroyed it in 2014, according to WOOD-TV.

Trees downed during the storm were removed during the project. Improvements include an accessible playground, improved parking with enhanced safety features, viewing stations overlooking Buck Creek, a basketball court, shelter, and restroom. The park will also feature an improved walking and bike trail with connection to the City’s interurban trail system.

A giant butterfly adorns the improved accessible play areas at Ideal Park.

“We are beyond grateful to our residents for their patience as we’ve worked to make this redevelopment a reality,” Mayor Jack Poll said in a city press release in 2019. “The redevelopment has been long awaited by residents as the park is a premier space for reservations for large groups.”

Ideal Park was developed in the 1930s.

The tornado tore out about 98% of the trees in and around the park and caused about $5 million in damage throughout the city.

This aerial image shows the work as it appeared while crews were removing dozens of tornado damaged trees from Ideal park.

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 cost of which was impacted by the park’s location along Buck Creek, associated wetlands, and damage from previous storms and floods. The rest of the funds came from the city’s dedicated parks and recreation budget.