New Adventure and Welcome Center may be coming to Wirth Park

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) and Loppet Foundation have spent months collaborating on three tentative agreements regarding the Wirth Adventure and Welcome Center (AWC) building and site work donation, operation and lease. The agreements were approved by the MPRB Administration & Finance Committee on Aug. 3; next they will be considered by the full Board of Commissioners.

Located in Theodore Wirth Regional Park, the Wirth AWC includes a new building, trail development and infrastructure enhancements focused on cross-country skiing, par 3 golf support, hiking, off-road cycling, snowboarding and snow tubing. The 14,000-square-foot building will be named The Trailhead. It will replace the small par 3 clubhouse and the historic Wirth Chalet will continue to serve the 18-hole golf course and host large group events. The proposed project will also add roughly four miles of mountain bike event trails with a learning area and increase snowmaking capabilities.

The Loppet Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization with a mission to create a shared passion for year-round outdoor adventure in Minneapolis, focusing on underserved youth and families. The Loppet Foundation has partnered with the MPRB since its start in 2002, anchoring its work in Theodore Wirth Park.

The three agreements outline an innovative, long-term relationship to provide world-class, year-round recreational programming in the MPRB’s largest park. If the agreements are approved by the full Board of Commissioners, the Loppet would initiate construction of the AWC building and utilities as soon as practicable. Assuming commencement of construction in late August, the Loppet Foundation anticipates completion of the building in early 2017.