Wurster Park


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​​​​​Wurster Park​ is a 5.5 acre park close to downtown Ann Arbor, in the Old West Side neighborhood. It is located on Madison Street just west of Main Street. View the Ann Arbor Parks and Nature Areas Map for location context​​. Wurster runs up the side of a hill, with a paved path crossing through the park in between huge oak trees. This is a mixed use park that offers something for all. A playground and sand volleyball court sit in the middle of the park, as well as a small grass field used for soccer. The park provides many grassy areas to relax, observe nature or enjoy a picnic. There are many natural features in the park including several native pollinator gardens, a small nature area and two Champion Trees, which are the largest tree of their species in the city. The two champions are a black oak and a chinkapin oak. The chinkapin oak Champion Tree is the largest of its species in the entire state of Michigan. Much of the park sits on a hill which allows you to see part of the downtown Ann Arbor skyline.​ The park is located near several other city parks,​ including Eberwhite Nature Area to the west and Allmendinger Park to the south.


Park Notices

Unless otherwise posted per City Council resolution, when a park is closed, no person shall remain in or enter it other than to quietly sit or walk.​

Refer to Chapter 39 of the City of Ann Arbor Code of Ordinances for park regulations and rules.

Park Hours

6 a.m. – 10 p.m.



Sand Volleyball Court



Horseshoe Pit


Paved Path


Landfill Bins

Picnic Tables





Access and Parking

Wurster Park can be accessed ​​from three sides. The main entrance is on West Madison Street on the northern end of the park and there is street parking there.

There is another entrance to the east at the corner of Third Street and West Mosely Street​, and there is street parking at this entrance as well.

The south park entrance is located off of the Edgewood Place cul-de-sac.

Follow posted signage regarding parking rules and restrictions. There is a 500 foot paved path through the park on an incline that connects all the entrances and park amenities.

Public Transportation

There is a bus stop at th​e West Madison Street park entrance. Visit TheRide for schedule and route details or check out the Parks Ride Guide​.​​​

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Ann Arbor's city parks sit on the ancestral and traditional homelands of several indigenous Native peoples. Read a land acknowledgement from the city and learn more about the early history of the land here.

The park's namesake, Ernst M. Wurster, was a p​rominent figure in Ann Arbor in the early 1900s. He was born on September 21, 1873 and lived in the city his entire life. 

Wurster was elected to the board of supervisors as a member of Ward 1 in 1913 and again in 1914. In 1915, he was elected as the president of City Council and became the acting mayor after the death of the Mayor C.A. Sauer. He was ​elected as mayor in 1917 and reelected in 1919. Wurster was elected as sheriff in 1926 and spent two years in this role. He was appointed to his last public office, city treasurer, by then mayor W. Staebler. 

After his time in public service roles, Wurster was employed by the state highway department as a highway inspector. He also ran an army supply store at 217 N. Fourth Avenue. The second floor of the building was used as a temporary county jail while the official building was under construction. Wurster was also active in the Ann Arbor Rotary Club after it was founded in 1917​​. He passed on January 2, 1937 at the age of 63. View Wurster's obituary.

The property began as a gravel pit at the end of Fourth Street. In 1948, the city identified it as a spot to be graded for a "coasting hill". In 1955, the property was named Wurster Park. In 1957, the city purchased six lots on the east side of the park from Henrietta Wurster (Ernst Wurster's sister) for $5,000. Over the next two decades, the city purchased or received donations of several lots that are now part of Wurster Park. View this map to see the lots.

In summer of 2021, a new information kiosk was added to the park, located by the playground. The kiosk was proposed to the city by some park neighbors as a special project through Adopt-a-Park. Some of the materials and the time to construct the kiosk were​ donated by a park neighbor and volunteer. Visit the park to check out this great addition! Information about the park's features and upcoming volunteer opportunities will be added to the kiosk by volunteers and staff.

Wurster Park kiosk 2021.jpg  

Park Stewardship

Champion trees

​Wurster Park is home to two Champion Trees that are ​worth admiring​ a black oak and a chinkapin oak.

The black oak can be easily found on the north end​​ of the park, along the paved path coming from Madison Street. It is believed to be 200-300 years old. The tree has been treated in recent years in hopes to improve its health. The city contracts with Guardian Tree Experts to help monitor and take care of the tree. Mulch was spread around the base of the tree to help stop soil compaction and root damage. A new tree is being grown from an acorn from the black oak.

The champion chinkapin oak is near the southwest corner of the park and is surrounded by a small natural area. The city takes measures to monitor the trees and keep them healthy. Park visitors are encouraged to visit the trees. Visitors should take caution and not engage in activities that could lead to damage or disease for the trees, such as hanging from low branches. 


The park is home to several gardens that are maintained by volunteers. These gardens contain native species such as wild strawberry, common milkweed, columbine, and yarrow. These native species provide habitat for wildlife and insects, especially our local pollinators. Visit this Natural Area Preservation webpage for more information about native plants.

The park is also home to a grove of several fruit trees, including plum and peach trees. These trees can be found near the Mosley Street park entrance. The trees were planted in 2008. Fruit trees require regular pruning and other care to ensure that they flower and produce fruit. If you are interested in maintaining this edible garden, email [email protected].

Natural Area

There is a narrow wooded area on the west side of Wurster Park that creates a buffer between the park and some of the neighbors. It is also home to the champion chinkapin oak. Many nat​​ive wildflowers can be found here including trillium, bloodroot, trout lily and jack-in-the-pulpit. Volunteers and staff monitor the non-native invasive plant species that can also be found in the wooded area​. Natural Area Preservation helped coordinate these efforts and now the Adopt-a-Park​ program coordinates volunteer activities in Wurster Park. Email [email protected] if you're interested in helping!

Read more about Wurster and previous stewardship efforts in a 2011 Natural Area Preservation newsletter​.

Active Adopters

Wurster Park has many neighbors and volunteers that work with the city to ensure the beauty of the park.​​ Volunteers work with Adopt-a-Park to create a work plan, plan projects and to plan workdays throughout the year. Volunteers tend to the gardens and natural areas by weeding invasive plants, adding native plants and more. In 2023, volunteers planted several trees in the park. Volunteers regularly care for the sand volleyball court as well. The volunteers and neighbors also advocate for the park​​ by reporting areas that need care by staff. Contact Adopt-a-Park to learn more about the volunteer activities at Wurster Park.


The "VolleyBros" help care for the volleyball courts

Volunteers, neighbors, and staff from Adopt-a-Park and GIVE 365 helped plant trees in 2023
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Volunteer in the parks

Looking to make an impact in a park or nature area? Ann Arbor Parks and Recreation provides volunteer opportunities for almost every interest, ability, and commitment level.

Learn more about volunteer opportunities
Park Finder

Park Finder

Discover parks and find amenities through the City of Ann Arbor Park Finder. This map allows you to search park names or search by amenity type or keyword.

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A2 Fix It

A2Fix It - Service request tool

A2 Fix It is an online system you can use to report any maintenance issues or other problems during your park visit. When reporting an issue in a park please include detailed location information in the "details and description" section near the end of the request process. Pictures that provide location context are very helpful.

Submit a request