Groundbreaking Ceremony celebrates beginning of construction on The Trailhead at Theodore Wirth Regional Park
Photo: (Left to right) Jayne Miller, MPRB Superintendent; Bobby Joe Champion, State Senator representing District 59; David Dayton, co-chair of the Loppet’s Trailhead Capital Campaign; John Munger, Loppet Foundation Executive Director; Anthony Taylor, Loppet Adventures Director; Youth from Loppet programming.
The crowd of supporters who attended the event at the site of the new building included staff and leaders from the MPRB and the Loppet Foundation, volunteers, donors and youth who participate in the Loppet’s robust programming at the park.
The Trailhead will be located southwest of the Wirth Chalet (1301 Theodore Wirth Parkway). It was included in the Theodore Wirth Regional Park Master Plan, which calls for an area devoted to lifetime outdoor activities like cross-country skiing, trail running, mountain biking and hiking. The Master Plan was approved by MPRB Commissioners on March 4, 2015 after a five-year public engagement process that included dozens of public meetings.
The 14,000-square-foot, $11.6 million building will create a jumping-off point for year-round outdoor activities in Minneapolis’ largest park. The Trailhead will function as a place for outdoor enthusiasts of all ages, experience levels and backgrounds to come together and enjoy the outdoors amidst a thriving urban metropolis.
A grand opening celebration for The Trailhead is expected in January 2018. Building highlights include:
- A café and large gathering space
- Rental space available for events
- A bike and ski shop for park users to purchase or rent equipment and supplies for outdoor adventures
- A strength and conditioning room
- Locker rooms and public restrooms
- Loppet Foundation offices
The building will serve as a health club of sorts where the equipment is the natural world. The Loppet Foundation will offer cross-country ski and mountain bike lessons as well as equipment rental.
This project will also create a new cross-country ski and mountain bike skills learning area that will be used for instruction and as a staging area for events. Other site improvements include additional parking, an outdoor patio, increased snowmaking capabilities and approximately four miles of new mountain bike trails.
ABOUT THE LOPPET FOUNDATION:
The Loppet Foundation’s mission is to create a shared passion for year-round outdoor adventure in the Minneapolis area, focusing on underserved youth and families. A partner of Minneapolis Public Schools and the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board, the Loppet Foundation involves people of all ages and backgrounds in year-round activities and events and engages students in lifetime outdoor activities like cross country skiing, mountain biking, trail running, paddling and orienteering. The Loppet Foundation bases their work in Theodore Wirth Park, a tremendous natural resource located near the heart of the city. For more information, visit www.loppet.org.
ABOUT THE MINNEAPOLIS PARK AND RECREATION BOARD
The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board is a nationally accredited, independent, semi-autonomous body responsible for the Minneapolis park system. With 179 parks, the Park Board provides opportunities for all people to gather at its 112 playgrounds, 78 pools and beaches, 51 miles of dual walking and biking paths, 49 recreation centers, 47 ice rinks, 12 gardens, seven golf courses, seven dog parks and numerous athletic fields and courts. Water access at 12 lakes, three creeks and miles of Mississippi riverfront is expanding with RiverFirst transformation plans. For details, visit www.minneapolisparks.org.