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Theodore Wirth Regional Park Improvements
The largest regional park in the Minneapolis Park System, Theodore Wirth Regional Park has 720 acres of land which offers year round recreational activities and access to extensive natural resources. Improvements to the park occur regularly, but major renewal of the Wirth Lake Area began in 2002. Recommendations from several Citizen Advisory Committees (CACs) have guided these improvements.
In 2010, a second extensive community engagement process led to the creation of a concept design and prioritization of elements for the Wirth Lake Area. In the fall of 2010 the CAC was reconvened to work through a full master plan update for the park. This plan will guide investment in the whole park over the next twenty years. The concept plan for the park was approved by the MPRB Board in July 2012. MPRB staff prepared a draft master plan document for the park based on the concept plan. The draft master plan is available for public review and comment October 15 through December 15, 2014.
Public Impact and Project Timeline
Reports, Plans, Maps
Project/ Park History
The draft master plan is available for public review and comment through December 15, 2014. Based on comments received, the draft plan will be revised and presented to the Board of Commissioners for a public hearing and approval in 2015.
Review the Draft Master Plan:
- Online (13MB)
- At the following locations:
- Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board Headquarters, 2117 West River Road N
- Wirth Chalet, Theodore Wirth Regional Park, 1301 Theodore Wirth Pkwy
- Par 3, Theodore Wirth Regional Park, 1325 Theodore Wirth Pkwy
- Golden Valley City Hall, 7800 Golden Valley Rd
- Harrison Recreation Center, 503 Irving Ave. N,
- Kenwood Community Center, 2101 Franklin Ave. W
- North Commons Recreation Center, 1801 James Ave. N
Submit a Comment:
- By Mail:
Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board
2117 West River Road N
Minneapolis, MN 55411
attn: Colleen O’Dell, Project Planner
September 20, 2013
March 22, 2013
October 2, 2012
August 27, 2012:
- Work begins this week to restore native vegetation in areas of the park affected by the May 2011 tornado. As of mid-week, crews will begin to remove woodchips, plant cover crops and apply herbicide to remove invasive plant species. This work will prepare soils for native plant seeding, which is expected to be done early next summer, followed by a two-year maintenance period.
- Tree planting in storm damaged areas of the park will continue this fall with volunteer groups. Future tree plantings will be planned in accordance with existing native communities and cultural landscape features.
July 11, 2012:
- The Park Board approved the Theodore Wirth Park Concept Plan and priorities for funding recommended by the Citizen’s Advisory Committee. An amendment to their approval dedicated part of the 2011 special bonding appropriation to the Wirth Welcome Center (1.5 million of 1.7 million bonding) and named the City of Lakes Nordic Ski Foundation as a partner, requiring them to raise at least 3 million in private funding to support construction of the Welcome Center. Please see the board agenda and resolution information here.(see July 11, Regular Meeting link, Agenda Packet page 2 for agenda, p. 45 for resolution)
View all meetings
For more details on the CAC:
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Public Impact and Project Timeline
The following is a list of current construction projects underway in the park.
- Theodore Wirth Natural Surface Trails
- Natural surface trail construction for walkers and for off-road cycling and trail running is underway in Southwest Wirth (west of Theo Wirth Parkway, and south of Glenwood) in fall of 2014. These trails, guided by the Wirth Concept Master Plan and partially funded by volunteers of MORC and MOCA, will be built to add another link to the off road cycling trail network which extends from the Back 40 area (west of the Par 3 golf course) south to 394. They will connect to a new segment on the west side of Brownie Lake in 2015. The trails are being built by an experienced profession trail contractor, Trail Source. Natural surface trails were constructed in 2013 in two areas in Wirth; north of Glenwood (off road cycling), and in the back 40, near Twin Lake and connecting to the Hidden Lakes trail (natural surface walking trails). These trails are built using sustainable trail techniques designed to prevent erosion and offer pleasant trail experiences in more natural settings within the park.
- Theodore Wirth Picnic Pavilion Rehabilitation
- The Wirth Picnic Pavilion will be undergoing rehabilitation work over the winter of 2012-3 to update it for year round use. The Pavilion has re-opened but still has some work underway (as of October 2014). Insulation will be installed in the fall of 2014.
- The Pavilion features a restored exterior and main hall, renovated teaching kitchen, catering serving space, renovated restrooms and two meeting/classroom spaces. It also has new heating and air conditioning and updated electrical and plumbing. The main hall seats approximately 100 people and has a large projection screen and a working fireplace. More (seasonal) seating is available in the two screen porches.
- Each meeting/classroom space can be used for 15-20 people.
- Funding is from the Metropolitan Council Regional Park Bonding for Theodore Wirth Regional Park.
- Theodore Wirth Winter Recreation and Golf Storage Building
- The Theodore Wirth Winter Recreation and Golf Operations staff have new storage building to store equipment (seasonally) in the operations area near the chalet. Funding was provided through the Hilton Fund dedicated for Winter Recreation.
- Seeding and Storm Restoration
- An ecological restoration contractor has been hired to do some native seeding in areas where the 2011 tornado and clean-up were damaged natural park areas. Applied Ecological Services is doing this work and will also have a two year maintenance contract for the seeding areas. View a map of the seeding areas. The work will be complete in fall 2014. This work is funded with Metropolitan Council Regional Park Bonding for Theodore Wirth Regional Park.
- Wirth Lake-Phase III Improvements
- Though mostly completed in 2012, plant maintenance will continue through 2014. This work was guided by the Wirth Lake CAC and was funded with Metropolitan Council Regional Park Bonding and Parks and Trails Legacy Funding for Theodore Wirth Regional Park.
- Wirth Park Tennis Court Removal (SW of Glenwood Avenue and Xerxes St N)
- This project is complete. This work was funded with Metropolitan Council Regional Park Bonding for Theodore Wirth Regional Park.
- Bassett Creek Main Stem Erosion Control/Restoration (Golden Valley Road to Irving Ave N.)
- This project has its own project page - please visit the page for more information.
- Wirth Park Forum for Bottineau Transitway
- Wirth Lake Outlet Control Project
- This project is complete. This project installed a new "duckbill" type rubber control structure designed to prevent high water in Bassett Creek from flowing into Wirth Lake during floods. This project was part of the Wirth Lake TMDL study to improve water quality. It was funded by the Bassett Creek watershed Management Commission using levy and Clean Waters Legacy Funding.
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- Native vegetation restoration work continues in Theodore Wirth Park - October 1, 2013
- Theodore Wirth Regional Park Master Planning and Development Update - March 22, 2013
- Theodore Wirth Park Improvements Resume - October 12, 2012
- Theodore Wirth Regional Park Master Planning and Development Update - October 2, 2012
- Grand Opening of New Wirth Beach Area Set for June 9 – June 5, 2012
- Theodore Wirth Park community design event scheduled for early November – October 19, 2011
- Construction of improvements at Theodore Wirth Park to begin again – April 13, 2011
- Wirth Lake Citizen Advisory Committee for Theodore Wirth Park improvements to reconvene – December 3, 2010
- Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board realigns ski trail in South Wirth – October 20, 2010
- New playground at Wirth Beach now open – July 1, 2010
- Wirth Beach playground to be closed for removal June 21 – June 17, 2010
- Public hearing June 16 for Wirth Beach Phase III improvements – May 27, 2010
- Meeting added for the Wirth Park Phase III Beach Master Plan Advisory Committee – May 11, 2010
- Meeting schedule for Wirth CAC revised – March 26, 2010
- Planning to begin for additional beach and picnic area improvements at Theodore Wirth – March 15, 2010
- MPRB awards bid for construction at Wirth Beach – November 3, 2009
- MPRB hosts informational open house for Theodore Wirth – beach area improvements – July 1, 2009
- Citizen Advisory Committee to convene for Theodore Wirth Beach Redevelopment Project – June 26, 2002
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The MPRB convened the first Citizen Advisory Committee in January 2010 to provide public input into capital improvements in Theodore Wirth Lake Area of Theodore Wirth Regional Park. Members of the Citizen Advisory Committee are residents of Minneapolis and Golden Valley and represent a range of interests related to Theodore Wirth Park. CAC members are responsible for bring concerns forward from, and reporting back to, their respective constituencies.
This process resulted in an approved concept plan for the Wirth Lake Area of the park and prioritized current and future funding. Implementation projects in the park called Wirth Lake Phase III have been completed.
In the fall of 2010, the CAC was re-convened to complete an overall master plan of the park and to prioritize funding for park improvements. A Concept Master Plan was approved in July 2012, and the full version of the Theodore Wirth Regional Park Master Plan is open for comment from until December 15, 2014. Regular quarterly updates on progress on implementation of the master plan will be posted by staff.
Wirth Park Citizen Advisory Committee (Full Park) re-convened, 2010-12
Wirth Park Phase III Citizen Advisory Committee (Wirth Lake Area) 2010
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Reports, Plans, Maps
July 11, 2012 - Park Board approved the Theodore Wirth Park Concept Plan and priorities for funding recommended by the Citizen's Advisory Committee.
February 1, 2011 Presentation on Bottineau LRT by Hennepin County Regional Rail Authority
February 15, 2011 Board authorized position on Bottineau LRT
February 16, 2011 Bid award for 2011 Wirth Lake improvements
October 20, 2010 Resolution to Reconvene the Wirth Beach Phase III CAC
July 21, 2010 Wirth Beach Phase III Concept Approval
July 21, 2010 Amending Consultant Contract Scope Wirth Beach Phase III
July 7, 2010 Public Hearing Wirth Lake Phase III Improvements
July 7, 2010 Wirth Beach Phase III concept plan approval
March 3, 2010 Retaining Sanders Wacker Bergly for design services for Wirth Beach Phase III improvements
March 3, 2010 Approving formation of and charge for Wirth Beach Phase III improvements
October 21, 2009 Bid award Wirth Beach Phase II improvements
History – Park / Project
- Phase I and II - Wirth Beach CAC (2008)
- Phase III - The Citizen Advisory Committee (CAC) Approved Wirth Lake Concept Plan | Phase III CAC Proceedings
- Funding - Recent and future improvements have been made possible thanks to grants from the Parks and Trails fund of the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment passed by Minnesota voters in 2008 and the Metropolitan Council among other sources.
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