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Byway Bylines: Volunteer walkway at Ideal Community Park to be dedicated

The Ideal Township Honors Walkway was dedicated July 14 at Ideal Park.Submitted Photo

A desire to share the story and history of the Ideal Volunteer Fire Department sparked an idea, and the rest is history.

Three years ago about a dozen residents began developing the idea for a fire truck museum in the Ideal Park. The idea quickly grew to a larger project encompassing not only the museum, but also interpretive signage that shares the stories of many volunteer groups of the community that is Ideal Township.

Appreciation and recognition were the theme for a dedication event. On Monday, July 14, at the Ideal Community Park, many familiar faces gathered around the new walkway and museum. A few expressed appreciation to the group.

Ideal Township Supervisor Jim Brandt spoke on behalf of the township board, highlighting the recent accomplishments at the park. Mary Badger spoke on behalf of the crew who developed the exhibit, saying, "It has been a privilege to work on the Honors Walkway on behalf of all those folks recognized there, either within their organizations or as individuals. It is amazing how much is being accomplished throughout Ideal Township by volunteers."

Planning began in 2011 and the museum building went up in 2012. The township's first fire engine was driven into the museum Sept. 11, 2013. About six project volunteers developed the history through writing and photos, culminating in the final phase - interpretive signage.

Now volunteers and township board members have a renewed interest in continuing to share the history of Ideal Township and, in particular, Ideal Corners, with another interpretive panel located at the park.

Learn more about all the jurisdictions surrounding the Paul Bunyan National Scenic Byway at