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Wayzata is a premier suburb located 11 miles west of downtown Minneapolis. With a population of 4,500 people, Wayzata is a tight-knit community which is known for its vibrant downtown and picturesque setting on Lake Minnetonka. A popular destination for visitors, Wayzata’s downtown is home to a number of specialty shops, boutiques, professional services, and restaurants.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Public-Private Partners Invite Community to Wayzata Big Woods 10th Anniversary Event

Tapping maple syrup in the Big Woods.
Photo Dan Gustafson
The four partner organizations that collaborated to preserve the Wayzata Big Woods in 2004 are reuniting to recognize the Wayzata Big Woods 10th anniversary on Sept. 25. The event – free and open to the public -- will take place from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Big Woods and the adjacent lawn of The Retreat recovery center. There will be a short program at 5:30 p.m.

The anniversary event will feature tours of the woods, tours of The Retreat, a French horn quartet, hors d’oeuvres, and a short program. Special activities planned for children include raptor demonstrations and mini-hikes by Three Rivers Park District personnel and a nature scavenger hunt by Wayzata Boy Scout Troop 283.

The four organizations that collectively preserved the Big Woods are the City of Wayzata, which purchased the majority of the property; The Retreat, which purchased the center of the property and restored the historic house there; the Trust for Public Land, which facilitated the process; and the Minnesota Land Trust, which holds a permanent conservation easement on the property.
More than 250 private donors also contributed a total of $1.6 million to complete the purchase of the property.
The Wayzata Big Woods, a rare urban remnant of the historic Big Woods that once covered a large swath of Minnesota and the Eastern United States, is a public park co-located with The Retreat recovery center at 1221 Wayzata Blvd., directly east of Colonial Square in Wayzata. The property formerly was known as the Cenacle, a spiritual retreat house owned by Catholic nuns.

The woods are open to the public year round. Visitors are welcome to walk its rustic trails to enjoy wildflowers in spring and colorful maple leaves in fall. Volunteers are invited to help eradicate invasive species from the woods in spring. Many Wayzata citizens, as well as the Wayzata High School football team, area Eagle Scouts, and employees of Keller Williams Realtor and TCF bank have volunteered to help maintain the Big Woods for future generations to enjoy.

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