Hearing set for Feb. 18 on Theodore Wirth Regional Park master plan

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board will hold a public hearing Wednesday, Feb. 18, 6:30 p.m., at Park Board headquarters, 2117 W. River Rd., to discuss the Theodore Wirth Regional Park Master Plan — a document that will help guide the future of the city’s largest park.

Theodore Wirth Park, a 759-acre park that Minneapolis shares with Golden Valley, features a wide variety of recreational opportunities, including cross-country skiing, golfing, snowboarding, tubing, nature walks and much more.

The Park Board is also collaborating with the Loppet Foundation on a new Wirth Adventure and Welcome Center that would replace the existing Par 3 Clubhouse. (Note: A specific discussion on the Wirth Adventure and Welcome Center will not be part of the master plan public hearing.)

The Loppet Foundation is raising $3 million for the new building and the Park Board will contribute $1.5 million, said Adam Arvidson, a landscape architect for the Park Board.

The project is still in the design process, but the goal is to start construction in 2016 and have the center open in time for the 2016/2017 winter sports season.

The center will focus on cross-country skiing, par-3 golf support, snowboarding, mountain bike raising and snow tubing. It will have a café, ticket booth for the park’s recreational activities, rental/repair shop, an exercise room, outdoor gathering space and offices for the Loppet Foundation, Arvidson said. 

The Wirth Chalet will remain and be revitalized “as an authentic 1920s-period clubhouse and pro shop,” according to the master plan.