Wyoming, Michigan facts for kids

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Wyoming, Michigan
City
City of Wyoming
From top, left and right:Wyoming City Hall. Looking east down 28th Street, the city's main commercial route. Water tower near Gezon Park.
From top, left and right:
Wyoming City Hall. Looking east down 28th Street, the city's main commercial route. Water tower near Gezon Park.
Official seal of Wyoming, Michigan
Seal
Motto: City of Vision and Progress
Kent County Michigan Incorporated and Unincorporated areas Wyoming Highlighted.svg
Country  United States
State  Michigan
County Kent County, Michigan seal.png Kent
Area
 • Total 64.41 km2 (24.87 sq mi)
 • Land 63.82 km2 (24.64 sq mi)
 • Water 0.60 km2 (0.23 sq mi)
Elevation 196 m (643 ft)
Population (2010)
 • Total 72,125
 • Estimate (2014) 74,826
 • Density 1,130.2/km2 (2,927.2/sq mi)
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 49509, 49519, 49418, 49503, 49508, 49548
Area code(s) 616
FIPS code 26-88940
GNIS feature ID 1616863
Website http://www.wyomingmi.gov

Wyoming is a city in Kent County, Michigan. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 72,125. That makes it the 3rd largest community or city in West Michigan, the 14th largest city in the state of Michigan, and the 18th largest community in the state as well as being the largest suburb of Grand Rapids.

In 1832 the area was settled and organized under the Byron Township. In 1848 the township split the northern half being called Wyoming Township and then became a city in 1959 after a period of disputes surrounding annexation as well as water and sewer usage. The city has experienced population growth every census since the 1890 with some of the largest occurring after major wars.

History

Settlement

The area that is now the city of Wyoming was established first in 1832 and was one of the first populated areas in the county. Over the course of the next 16 years the area was incorporated as the Township of Byron. During this time the area that is now Grandville was populated at first by mills that used the Buck Creek to power its mills. In 1848 the township of Byron split with the name of Wyoming being used for the northern half. The name came from the Wyoming County, New York from which the majority of the residents came during the first 16 years. During this time the Township of Walker to the north took over a small portion of the new township as it was north of the Grand River and the ability to manage that land would be difficult.

Wyoming Township (1848–1959)

During the ensuing 50 years the township of Wyoming grew up slowly. The Grandville settlement in the northwest corner of the township grew the most and by 1884 had become the Village of Grandville and by 1893 had separated from the township. The City of Grandville was able to expand to its present size when it was able to grab land halfway between Byron Center and Ivanrest avenues a year before the township was incorporated as a city. Only the panhandle section from south of 50th Street was allowed to stay in the township and small effort was used to annex that section to Grandville that failed. In 1870 a settlement known as Fisher's Station developed around a station on the Grand Rapids and Indiana Railroad. It got a post office in 1871 and was platted in 1873.

The next major area of development occurred in the northeast section of the township. The City of Grand Rapids started annexing portions of the township and by 1891 had annexed a square mile (2.6 km2) of the city from Division to Clyde Park and from Hall to Burton. A further section was annexed in 1916 that involved half-mile from Burton to Alger and from Clyde Park to Division. Further annexation attempts occurred during the ensuing 50 years and most failed. The population in the new northern areas of the city was populated mainly with workers for the furniture factories in Grand Rapids. That area was called the Urbandale neighborhood and ran along Chicago Drive from Burton northward. South of that was called the Galewood area and ran to roughly Cleveland Avenue. A final neighborhood grew up to the west of the Galewood and was called Burlingame and used Burlingame as its main street. That area was collectively called the Galewood-Urbandale-Burlingame or GUB. That section also provided the first school district for the township with the Godfrey-Lee. It had two major developments occur that caused some annexation attempts. The first was the Pere Marquette Rail yard and the second being the Kelvinator plant. The GUB area was proposed to become the city of Lee in 1939 but failed. Another attempt was made to consolidate with the City of Grand Rapids in 1949 and also failed. A last attempt at an annexation by the city of Grand Rapids in 1958 failed to secure the rail yard property with a strong push from the school districts of the then township.

Another major area of development occurred along the plank road Division in two separate areas. The northern area was the Godwin area and used the same name for the schools in that area. It happened to be split by both the townships of Wyoming and Paris. That area had faced numerous land grabs by the City of Grand Rapids mentioned above. The county in the 1950s had planned to move the county airport from its location in Paris Township to the present location. The school district and Wyoming Township had asked for it to handle the land development. The City of Grand Rapids also wanted the land and so a fight began. During this fight the township was able to become a new city in 1958 and seated in 1959. During the next few years a vote was taken to take three more sections of the city and the end result was only the airport was annexed by the City of Grand Rapids. The Godwin Heights Public Schools had previously voted to bring the rest of its Paris Township holdings into the city no more than a year after the previous section was added. Also during 1959, a vote was taken to bring all of the area into a single city but failed at the ballot box in all of the townships and cities outside of Grand Rapids. The end result of all of these ballot boxes was a July state supreme court ruling which brought the airport and surrounding holdings into Wyoming. A major reason the Godwin area was a prime candidate to be annexed was the GM Fisher Body Plant built in 1936.

The area to the south of Godwin was Fishers Station. It was developed with the rail road that ran in that general area from Grand Rapids to Kalamazoo. It then died off and was reformed with the name of Home Acres. In 1931 that area along with section of Godwin was proposed to become the village of Emerson but failed at the ballot box. A second attempt was made later with the name of South Grand Rapids but again failed traction. Since the threat of annexation of Grand Rapids was not there Kelloggsville became a school district split between the City of Wyoming and the Township of Paris, soon to be the City of Kentwood.

The vote to become a city was tried twice. The first time in 1956 and failed at the ballot box by a small margin. A 'scare' sheet was sent weeks before the vote about the water then being used by the township and how they should be annexing themselves with Grand Rapids instead. At the time the township had the most permits for housing and the need for water was on the minds of many home owners in the city. A second vote was launched in 1958 and passed by a margin of 1442 votes.

City of Wyoming (1959–present)

In the 1960s, the city was able to launch several projects. The first was a sewage plant to take care of issues from the state in regards to dumping it in the Buck Creek and Grand River. The next was the completion of the Water Plant in Holland with a pipeline to the city. A final project was the Complete Streets project. These projects made the city the way it was. New developments occurred over the years and the 28th Street projects allowed the creation of Rogers Plaza, one of the first indoor malls in the state let alone the country, and the neighboring Wyoming Village Mall in 1961. Flowerland Fruitbasket also opened in 1961 providing lawn care tools, flowers and outdoor furniture. Four years later in 1965, Studio 28 opened on the 28th Street corridor and expanded in size over decades into the world's first multiplex and the largest multiplex in the world in 1988.

Following the 1999 opening of Rivertown Crossings Mall in Grandville near the southwest border of Wyoming, many commercial tenants left the 28th Street corridor to Grandville. More business was lost during the great recession, with the GM Fisher Body Plant closed due to budget cuts by General Motors. Much of the commercial atmosphere of 28th Street also dwindled down, with Studio 28 closing in 2008 and vacany rates up to nearly 40% in 2011.

Later into 2010s, development has expanded in southern Wyoming. Gordon Foods has expanded its headquarters and Metro Hospital moved into the area attracting new businesses. Developments around Rivertown Crossings Mall on the southwest border with Grandville has pushed development in the panhandle region of the city as well.

Arts and culture

The city has 21 parks that cover about 665 acres (2.69 km2) which offer a multitude of activities. The parks department has been active in the past decade in redeveloping the parks in the city. Many parks have been rebuilt which included adding new equipment, splash pads, and facilities. They have also added a few new facilities including a small skateboard park near one of the highest densities of the city. The city also offers a Senior Center that provides activities for the older citizens of the city and the region as a whole. Along with the parks is the Kent Trails system that converted abandoned rail lines to bike paths. It is a collaborative effort between multiple local governments. The most recent addition to the Wyoming Park System is the Dog Park located next to Marquette Park at the very northern edge of the city. It is a privately funded park with access controls to restrict usage to registered members.

In 2002 the new Wyoming Public Library was built and is owned by the city but run by the Kent District Library System. It is a 48,950-square-foot (4,548 m2) facility with over 112,046 items. The library branch is also the highest attended in the Kent District system with 670,842 items checked out and 439,599 visits in 2009. The library currently has around 76% of the population holding a card to use the facility. The building houses the Wyoming Historical Commission that provides history of the city. Along with Historical Commission room, it houses the library for the blind and an art gallery.

Starting in 2005, the Wyoming-Kentwood Chamber of Commerce put together the 28th Street Metro Cruise. It currently spans 15 miles (24 km) from its start in Grandville at Wilson and 28th to its end in Cascade Township. The cruise runs on Friday and Saturday on the last weekend of August.

Geography

Wyoming, Michigan aerial 2009
A 2009 aerial image of Wyoming. The US 131 and M-11 interchange is seen in the lower, central portion of the photo.

The city is situated southwest of Grand Rapids and south of the Grand River. Grandville and Georgetown Township in Ottawa County are to the west. Byron Township is to the south and the city of Kentwood to the east. U.S. Highway 131 (US 131) runs through the eastern side of the city and Interstate 196 (I-196) runs southwest–northeast along the Grand River. The newly completed M-6 (Paul B. Henry Freeway) runs along the south side of the city and connects I-196 with US 131 and I-96. M-11 runs east–west through the north of the city, also connecting with I-196, US 131, and I-96.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 24.87 square miles (64.41 km2), of which, 24.64 square miles (63.82 km2) is land and 0.23 square miles (0.60 km2) is water.

Weather

Wyoming is located just on the edge of the snow belt, where more snow tends to fall from lake effect snow coming off Lake Michigan. The lake also helps the area east of Wyoming in keeping warmer than usual. The record temperature in the area was 102 °F (39 °C) as its high in June and its low was set in January at −22 °F (−30 °C). Sunshine tends to be around 46% of the time with 43% of the year of temperatures reaching at least 65 °F (18 °C). Almost 40% the temperature dips below 32 °F (0 °C).

Climate data for Wyoming, Michigan
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F 30 32 42 57 69 79 83 81 73 61 46 34 57.3
Average low °F 16 17 25 36 46 56 60 59 51 41 31 21 38.3
Rainfall inches 2.0 1.5 2.6 3.5 3.0 3.6 3.5 3.4 3.7 2.8 3.3 2.6 35.5
Snowfall inches 20.2 11.9 10.0 3.0 0 0 0 0 0 .7 7.7 18.1 71.6
Average high °C -1.1 0 5.6 13.9 20.6 26.1 28.3 27.2 22.8 16.1 7.8 1.1 14.03
Average low °C -8.9 -8.3 -3.9 2.2 7.8 13.3 15.6 15 10.6 5 -0.6 -6.1 3.47
Rainfall mm 51 38 66 89 76 91 89 86 94 71 84 66 902
Snowfall cm 51.3 30.2 25.4 7.6 0 0 0 0 0 1.8 19.6 46 181.9
Source: Weatherbase

Surrounding municipalities

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1960 45,829
1970 56,560 23.4%
1980 59,616 5.4%
1990 63,891 7.2%
2000 69,368 8.6%
2010 72,125 4.0%
Est. 2015 75,275 4.4%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 72,125 people, 26,970 households, and 18,128 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,927.2 inhabitants per square mile (1,130.2/km2). There were 28,983 housing units at an average density of 1,176.3 per square mile (454.2/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 75.8% White, 7.2% African American, 0.6% Native American, 2.8% Asian, 9.6% from other races, and 3.8% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 19.4% of the population.

There were 26,970 households of which 37.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.1% were married couples living together, 14.4% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.7% had a male householder with no wife present, and 32.8% were non-families. 25.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.66 and the average family size was 3.22.

The median age in the city was 32.1 years. 27.1% of residents were under the age of 18; 10.5% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 29.9% were from 25 to 44; 23.5% were from 45 to 64; and 9% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 49.3% male and 50.7% female.

2000 census

As of the census of 2000, there were 69,368 people, 26,536 households, and 17,540 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,840.1 per square mile (1,096.8/km²). There were 27,506 housing units at an average density of 1,126.2 per square mile (434.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 84.32% White, 4.85% African American, 0.59% Native American, 2.92% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 4.70% from other races, and 2.59% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 9.66% of the population.

There were 26,536 households out of which 35.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.6% were married couples living together, 12.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.9% were non-families. 26.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.60 and the average family size was 3.19.

In the city, the population was spread out with 28.0% under the age of 18, 10.9% from 18 to 24, 33.7% from 25 to 44, 18.0% from 45 to 64, and 9.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females there were 97.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.0 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $43,164, and the median income for a family was $50,002. Males had a median income of $35,772 versus $25,482 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,287. About 5.1% of families and 7.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.8% of those under age 18 and 6.9% of those age 65 or over.

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