Parks update // Loppet race will end on Hennepin

Loppet race will end on Hennepin

This year’s 10th annual City of Lakes Loppet will finish on Hennepin Avenue between Lake and 31st streets, John Munger, the executive director of the City of Lakes Nordic Ski Foundation, announced Nov. 16.

In recent years the cross country ski race ended on The Mall near Walker Library and was headquartered in a tent at the library. The finish line was moved due to increased participation and upcoming construction at the library. Calhoun Square will be the race’s new headquarters.

The new race route will turn onto Lake Street from Lake Calhoun, go west for six blocks, then turn south onto Hennepin Avenue for the finish. Three lanes of traffic will be closed on Lake; Hennepin will be shut down completely between Lake and 31st streets.

The main skiing events, including the 25-kilometer Hoigaard’s Classic and the 33-kilometer City of Lakes Freestyle Loppet, set off from Theodore Wirth Park.

The Loppet finish line was on Hennepin in the event’s second and third years. The finish line was relocated to The Mall for the past six years.

Munger also announced two new sponsors for the race, Columbia and Park Nicollet.

The Loppet is scheduled for Feb. 4–5, 2012. For more information go to cityoflakesloppet.com.

———

Fruit trees coming to a park near you

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board plans to begin planting fruit trees in Minneapolis parks beginning in 2012.

Park Board Superintendent Jayne Miller said Park Board staff will likely begin contacting neighborhood groups to find out which parks would be best suited for the trees.

The Park Board has budgeted to plant 6,000 trees next year, with 3,000 going to the tornado-ravaged North side of the city. Fruit trees would make up some of the other 3,000 trees, although the Park Board hasn’t determined exactly how many yet.

Park Board President John Erwin said most of the trees would likely grow cherries, apples or plums, as they are best suited for the Minnesota climate.

———

Park Board kicks off food drive

For the third year in a row, Minneapolis recreation centers are collecting non-perishable food items for a local food bank.

Over the past two years, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board has collected and donated more than 5,000 pounds of food, and this year it will donate the food to the Groveland Food Shelf at Plymouth Congregational Church in the Stevens Square neighborhood.

This season’s Feeding the Dream Food Drive will conclude on Jan. 16 at Martin Luther King Jr. Park, 4055 Nicollet Ave. S. The public is invited to an hour-long program that honors and celebrates the life of Dr. King.

For more information, visit minneapolisparks.org or call 230-6484.

———

Brownie Lake citizen’s committee meeting Nov. 29

A citizen’s advisory committee tasked with making design recommendations for Brownie Lake improvements will meet for the second time at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 29 in the Kenwood Community Center, 2101 W. Franklin Ave.

The Park Board is expecting to secure about $1.1 million in federal and state funding for Brownie Lake improvements.

Recommendation on Dog Park too late for this edition

A Park Board committee was scheduled to hold a public hearing on a proposed off-leash dog area in Lyndale Farmstead Park on Nov. 22.

That meeting took place too late for this edition of the Southwest Journal, but readers can visit southwestjournal.com for the latest news.