Park Board – Loppet Partnership
The Loppet Foundation and the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board (MPRB) have partnered for more than 13 years. Together we have accomplished great things. Through the partnership, more than 10,000 youth have learned to ski, mountain bike, trail run, and paddle, 8,400 of those kids are from North Minneapolis. Together we have brought snowmaking and lights to Wirth Park. We have rejuvenated the forest, planting more than 350 young trees in the park. We have expanded the trail network, creating more than 30 kilometers of ski trail and 13 miles of running and hiking trails. And we have brought national and international events to the park, like the Junior Olympics and a Paralympics World Cup.
The Master Plan for Wirth Park calls for an area devoted to lifetime activities like cross country skiing, trail running, mountain biking and hiking. This area, dubbed the Trailhead, will include staging and learning areas for skiing and biking and trail running, expanded and improved areas for tubing and a terrain park for snowboarding, and a building that will act as the jumping off point for these activities and a hub for outdoor activities of all kinds. The Trailhead will also serve to disentangle golf and winter recreation, thus improving both.
The Loppet Foundation and the MPRB are partnering to make the Trailhead a reality. The Loppet Foundation is bringing private investment to build the Trailhead building and invest in surrounding infrastructure. The MPRB is re-structuring and improving the 18-hole golf course and investing in infrastructure as well. Together, the MPRB and the Loppet Foundation have chosen and hired an architecture firm, HGA, and collaborated on project design. And the parties have been working for years on an agreement that will allow the parties to deliver services in new and creative ways.
“The Loppet Foundation has been a terrific partner in the ongoing effort to improve Wirth Park,” said MPRB District 2 Commissioner Jon Olson. “This new building will serve a diverse set of park users, and I’m happy we could work out a plan designed to best meet all of the various stakeholders’ needs.”