Project Location

Theodore Wirth Regional Park
1339 Theodore Wirth Parkway
Minneapolis, MN 55411

Master Plan Contact

Colleen O’Dell

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Language Resources

Correo Electró


Current Phase: System Planning
Construction: 2012-2019

What's New


Project Milestones


  • Lessard Vegetation Management implementation will begin

Spring 2015

  • Natural Surface trails planning will begin for Southeast Wirth and Brownie Lake

Project History

March 4, 2015

February 18, 2015

January 9, 2015

  • Extended Master Plan draft comment period ends

January 8, 2015

  • Public Open House on Master Plan draft

Winter 2014-15

December 17, 2014

  • Board Action - Park Board authorized an extension of the public review and comment period through January 9, 2015.

October 1, 2014

  • Board Action - Park Board authorized a 60-day public review and comment period beginning October 15, 2014 on the DRAFT Theodore Wirth Regional Park Master Plan.
  • See Resolution

October 1, 2013

September 20, 2013

March 22, 2013

January 2013

  • Since Board approval and direction in July 2012, staff have worked to prepare a fundraising agreement with the Loppet Foundation (formerly City of Lakes Nordic Ski Foundation) to raise at least $3 million for the estimated $6 million welcome center facility. This agreement will set the foundation of fundraising efforts and programming for a future Multi-Sport Welcome Center at Theodore Wirth Regional Park. The long-term focus of this center is to serve the needs of park visitors, trail users (of all types), park-3 golfers, cross-country skiers, snowboarders and tubers. A revised agreement will be presented to the Board in February for consideration.

January 16, 2013

  • Loppet Agreement Discussion - Administration and Finance Committee changed this from an action item to a discussion item at the meeting
  • Welcome Center Concepts [PDF]

October 12, 2012

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

  • Board Action - The Park Board approved the Theodore Wirth Park Concept Plan and priorities for funding recommended by CAC.  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.

June 5, 2012

October 19, 2011

April 13, 2011

  • News release - Construction of improvements at Theodore Wirth Park to begin again

February 16, 2011 Bid award for 2011 Wirth Lake improvements

February 15, 2011 Board authorized position on Bottineau LRT

February 1, 2011 Presentation on Bottineau LRT by Hennepin County Regional Rail Authority


  • Construction project (Wirth Beach Phase 2) has been completed. Improvements included new playgrounds, volley ball courts, half basketball court, beach terrace, site furnishings and walks.

December 3, 2010

  • News release - Wirth Lake Citizen Advisory Committee for Theodore Wirth Park improvements to reconvene

October 20, 2010

  • News release - MPRB realigns ski trail in South Wirth
  • Board Action - Resolution to Reconvene the Wirth Beach Phase III CAC

July 21, 2010 

July 7, 2010 

July 1, 2010

  • News release - New playground at Wirth Beach now open

June 17, 2010

  • News release - Wirth Beach playground to be closed for removal June 21

May 27, 2010

  • News release - Public hearing June 16 for Wirth Beach Phase III improvements

May 11, 2010

  • News release - Meeting added for the Wirth Park Phase III Beach Master Plan Advisory Committee

March 26, 2010

  • News release - Meeting schedule for Wirth CAC revised

March 15, 2010

  • News release - Planning to begin for additional beach and picnic area improvements at Theodore Wirth

March 3, 2010 

November 3, 2009

  • News release - MPRB awards bid for construction at Wirth Beach

October 21, 2009 Bid award Wirth Beach Phase II improvements

July 1, 2009

  • News release - MPRB hosts informational open house for Theodore Wirth – beach area improvements

June 26, 2002

  • News release - CAC to convene for Theodore Wirth Beach Redevelopment Project

Get Involved

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Community Engagement

The MPRB convened the first Citizen Advisory Committee (CAC) in January 2010 to provide public input into capital improvements in Theodore Wirth Lake Area of Theodore Wirth Regional Park. Members of CAC are residents of Minneapolis and Golden Valley and represent a range of interests related to Theodore Wirth Park. CAC members are responsible for bringing 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 in July 2010 and prioritized current and future funding. Implementation projects in the park called Wirth Lake Phase III and rehabilitation of the Wirth Picnic Pavilion have been substantially 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.

CAC members were appointed by Park Board commissioners, other government agencies, and community groups. Members represent the gamut of park user groups and include three appointments by the Youth Coordinating Board. All CAC meetings are open to the public, and anyone wishing to offer a suggestion, idea or opinion will have an opportunity to speak. Upon completion of its study, the CAC ’s recommendations will be presented to the Board.

Past Meetings

February 18, 2015 - Public Hearing for the Revised Master Plan [PDF]

January 8, 2015 - Open House

CAC Meetings 2011-2013

CAC Meetings 2010

Upcoming Meetings

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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.

Phase I and II [PDF] - Wirth Beach CAC (2008)

Phase III - CAC Approved Wirth Lake Concept Plan [PDF]


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.

Construction Projects

In chronological order, starting with current projects:

Bassett Creek Main Stem Erosion Control/Restoration (Golden Valley Road to Irving Ave N.) (2012-2015)

  • This project has its own project page - please visit the page for more information. Construction will begin in late 2014 and continue through 2015.

Wirth Park Lessard –Sams Vegetation Management  (2013-19)

Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden Boardwalk (2013-14)

Wirth Adventure/Welcome Center (2013-16)

Theodore Wirth Natural Surface Trails (2013-15)

  • 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 I-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. Because this work is design-build signage is being created, and will be fully installed in 2015.
  • The next phase of natural surface trail development will occur in 2015 at Brownie Lake (off road cycling) and in SE Wirth Park (Walking Trails only).

Theodore Wirth Picnic Pavilion Rehabilitation (2012-14)

  • 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).
  • Roof Insulation was planned to be installed in the fall of 2014, but early freezing temps may delay this work until spring 2015.
  • 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 (2013-14)

  • 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 (2012-14)

  • An ecological restoration contractor has been hired to do some native seeding in areas where the 2011 tornado and clean-up 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 [PDF]. 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 (2011-12)

  • 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) (2012)

  • This project is complete. This work was funded with Metropolitan Council Regional Park Bonding for Theodore Wirth Regional Park.

Wirth Park Forum for Bottineau Transitway (2012)

Wirth Lake Outlet Control Project (2011-12)

  • 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.

Design Team

Bill Baxley, Leo A Daly, Minneapolis
Focus: design public and maintenance buildings

Piortr Bednarski, Nordic Ski Professional, Minneapolis
Focus: trail system and silent sports trends

Bruce Chamberlain, MPRB, Minneapolis
Focus: park master planning and landscape design

Steve Durrant, Alta Group, Portland
Focus: overall park master plan and trail system design

Kari Haug, Haug, Minnesota
Focus: golf course design and trends

Jeff Lee, Barr Engineering, Minneapolis
Focus: assembly of natural resource analysis

Jennifer Ringold, MPRB, Minneapolis
Focus: community engagement and master planning


Charlene Roise, Hess Roise, Minneapolis
Focus: assembly of historical and cultural analysis

Cliff Swenson, MPRB, Minneapolis
Focus: landscape design

Eva Terrell, Two Pines Resource Group, Schafer
Foucs: archeological analysis

Larry Wacker, Sanders WackerBergly, St. Paul
Focus: overall park and landscape design, and master planning

Dave Wanberg, Sanders WackerBergly, St. Paul
Focus: overall park and landscape design

Andrea Weber, MPRB, Minneapolis
Focus: landscape design and master planning

Jeff Zimmermann, Design Workshop, Denver
Focus: golf course design