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Lake Effect is a transformative plan for Wayzata’s lakefront that reconnects residents to Wayzata’s greatest asset, Lake Minnetonka. The project includes six elements:
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The first phase, the renovation of Lake Street and the Plaza Park, will begin construction in the spring of 2020.
It is a partnership between the City of Wayzata and the Lake Effect Conservancy. The public dollars from the City and other organizations such as Three Rivers Parks are funding the redesign of Lake Street and the Plaza Park – everything north of the railroad tracks (Phase One). In addition, the City did receive a grant from the state specifically for the upgrade of the railroad crossings – this portion will also be included in Phase One. The Boardwalk, the Eco Park and the Depot Park (everything south of the railroad tracks) will be funded with private dollars raised by the Lake Effect Conservancy. It is approximately $5 million dollars of public funding and $10 million dollars of private funding.
Civitas, an award winning landscape and urban design firm based out of Denver, Colorado is designing all aspects of the project with much input and engagement with the City of Wayzata, community members and stakeholders. The design for this project has already received an award by the American Society of Landscape Architects
This entire initiative will include almost 3,000 linear feet of lakeshore and over 15 acres of park land. It starts at the Depot and extends east to the Section Foreman House.
No. Originally when the project was being developed a design for the beach area was considered, but the City Council decided to just focus on the current project area – from the Depot to the Section Foreman House.
As a part of this project, the existing “interim docks” will be replaced by permanent wooden docks – approximately in the same location, both at the Depot and the Broadway Railroad Crossings.
As an expansion and enhancement to Wayzata’s existing parks and trails system, the Lake Effect Project is being developed with input from the Wayzata Parks and Trails Board. It is being incorporated into the City’s Parks and Trails Master Plan.
With the redesign of Lake Street from Barry Avenue to Broadway Avenue there will be a separate, two-way bike path added to the southside of the street separating bicyclists from pedestrian and vehicle traffic. The bike lane will allow bikers of all ages to safely travel through and around downtown Wayzata and then west to the beach and directly across Ferndale to the regional Dakota Rail Trail.
The total cost for the project includes maintenance and operation expenses for the first ten years of the project.
Through this project, the lakeshore will be restored to a more natural state and holding ponds will be created to improve water runoff management. The result will be a direct improvement to the lake water quality and ecology, as well as intentional restoration and preservation of Wayzata’s shoreline.
This collaborative is a group of non-profits and agencies that came together around their shared interest in serving youth, the local community, engagement with Lake Minnetonka and learning. From that meeting came a vision of engaging youth in experiential, lake focused learning on Wayzata’s lakefront. The collaborative includes the YMCA, Wayzata Community Sailing Center, Science Museum of Minnesota, Wayzata School District, University of Minnesota, MN Department of Natural Resources, Three Rivers Park District, Interfaith Outreach, Minnehaha Creek Watershed District, Lake Minnetonka Association and the Wayzata Lake Effect Conservancy. Together they launched the pilot STEM Lake Exploration Camp in the summer of 2018, as an example of the potential for great interactive STEM learning on Wayzata’s lakefront and site of the future Eco Park.