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Theodore Wirth Regional Park Improvements
The largest regional park in the Minneapolis Park System, Wirth Park is 759 acres of year round recreational activities and natural resources. Since 2002 there have been several improvements at Theodore Wirth Regional Park at or near Wirth Beach. Recommendations from the Citizen Advisory Committees (CACs) have guided these improvements.
Since 2010, an extensive community engagement process has led to the creation of a concept design and prioritization of elements that will guide park investment over the next twenty years. The concept design was approved by the MPRB Board in July 2012. MPRB staff is currently finalizing a draft master plan document for the park that will illustrate the planning process and builds an implementation framework around the conceptual design. The draft master plan will be presented for public comment in 2013.
Public Impact and Project Timeline
Reports, Plans, Maps
Project/ Park History
January 31, 2014
September 20, 2013
March 22, 2013
- 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 is expected to re-open in June 2013. It will feature a restored exterior and main hall, renovated teaching kitchen, catering serving space, renovated restrooms and two meeting/classroom spaces. It will feature new heating and air conditioning and updated electrical and plumbing. The main hall will seat approximately 100 people and will have a projection screen and a working fireplace. More 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.
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 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 is expected to re-open in June 2013. It will feature a restored exterior and main hall, renovated teaching kitchen, catering serving space, renovated restrooms and two meeting/classroom spaces. It will feature new heating and air conditioning and updated electrical and plumbing. The main hall will seat approximately 100 people and will have a projection screen and a working fireplace. More 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. Stay tuned for information about the grand re-opening!
- Theodore Wirth Winter Recreation and Golf Storage Building
- The Theodore Wirth Winter Recreation and Golf Operations staff will see their old storage structures replaced with a new storage building which will be able to store all of the current equipment (seasonally) in the operations area near the chalet. The project is in design now, using a Project Advisory Committee. View the Concept Plans for the buildings. The building will be constructed this fall. Existing buildings will be removed and the new building will be constructed in the same location, following the Wirth Concept Plan. Funding is through the Hilton Fund dedicated for Winter Recreation.
- Seeding and Storm Restoration
- A contractor has been hired to do some native seeding in areas where the 2011 tornado and clean-up were damaged. Applied Ecological Services is doing this work and will also have a two year maintenance contract for the seeing areas. View a map of the seeding areas. 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, additional planting and plant maintenance will occur in spring 2013 and though 2014. Boardwalk railing re-painting was now completed in March 2013. This work is 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. Erosion control devices will be removed when turf is established.This work is 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.)
- Wirth Park Forum for Bottineau Transitway
- Wirth Lake Outlet Control Project
- This project is mostly complete. Some work on railings and a skimmer will be completed in spring 2013. This project istalled a new "duckbill" type rubber control structure designed to prevent high water in Bassett Creek from flowing into Wirth Lake. 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 Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board convened a Citizen Advisory Committee in 2010 to provide public input into capital improvements in Theodore Wirth 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 park and prioritized current and future funding. Implementation projects in the park are underway, and 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 1st, 2011 Presentation on Bottineau LRT by Hennepin County Regional Rail Authority
February 15th, 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
- 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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