2buckthorn, they are often in a dilapidated state and there is no infrastructure
like coordinatedand adequate maintenance facilities and a public building with related concessions
to supportthe trail network. In fact, dilapidated is the common theme of the entire park. Rather thanspend precious resources analyzing a dartboard full of disparate ideas, the Park Board should, tocoin a new phrase, un-dilapidate the park and invest in making trail experiences better for all.Investing in trails makes sense for several reasons. Over the past 30 years, with littleplanning and almost no investment trails use in Wirth Park has skyrocketed:
(see Assumptions in the Appendix)
Cross country skiers now make approximately 55,000 trips to the park, logging morethan 500,000 kilometers
or 310,000 miles
over little more than a 60 day season
Conservatively, mountain bikers make some 50,000 trips to the park, logging some250,000 miles.
Everyday bikers make more than 250,000 trips through the park, logging more than onemillion miles each year.
Runners: 25,000 trips and more than 100,000 miles
Walkers and hikers, including birder and nature watchers, make more than 75,000 tripsand log more than 150,000 miles
In-line skaters, roller-skiers and other like users make some 10,000 trips, logging morethan 40,000 miles.Trail use by young people in particular has increased dramatically. (See Appendix)
From asocietal perspective, Wirth Park
s trails are more important than ever. Sedentary lifestyles andobesity are at epidemic proportions.
This is particularly true in North Minneapolis, where low- income and minority populations have the greatest health problems in the city.
The readershould check with members of the North Minneapolis neighborhood community to seehow they feel about this statement.Because Wirth Park is North Minneapolis
largest park,Wirth should be a place that helps inspire an active lifestyle throughout the year. Despite yearsof neglect Wirth Park
s trails have been doing that. With a little investment and un-dilapidating,Wirth Park
s trail infrastructure can inspire more and more people to stay active throughout theyear.
The Minneapolis parks system has lakes and riverfronts with asphalt walking and bikingtrails. It has dramatic features like Minnehaha Falls. It has pocket parks within reach of mostcitizens. It has soccer parks and baseball fields, and hockey rinks and ice arenas. What it doesnot have is a park devoted to
also known as active or silent sports
. Thenorthern portion of Theodore Wirth should be that park.Throughout this document, and in others produced by the Nordic Ski Foundation, andothers that are byproducts of their message, you will see references to lifetime, active and silentsports. These terms are often accompanied by a list of sports. The lists always exclude golf, asthough golf is not a lifetime activity, or as though carrying a golf bag or playing 9 or 18 holes is not