The 14 acres of the Big Woods is the last metro remnant of a forest which once covered all of central Minnesota. The thick forest provides a buffer for the City from the adjacent Interstate 394. A $3 million bond referendum was approved by Wayzata residents in November 2003 to purchase the Big Woods and place it under the protection of the Minnesota Land Trust. The conservation easement allows the city to develop unpaved walking paths and provide benches for visitors to enjoy the forest. View the Big Woods photo gallery.
We also ask for groups to volunteer to pull invasive plants, buckthorn and garlic mustard, from the Big Woods Preserve in the spring. If your group in interested in participating in any of our initiatives, please email Volunteers.
Photos below taken by Joel Papa at the Cargill May 12, 2018 planting and invasive plant removal in the Big Woods.