Improve Hiawatha Nordic
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Those of us who have signed this petition love Nordic skiing at Hiawatha Golf Course each winter but feel the experience could be greatly improved, particularly for the $45 Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board fee we pay to use the facility.
Our wish list is not long: groom the trails at least twice a week and open the clubhouse on weekends, at least for a few hours.
Here’s our pitch:
Most ski areas talk about their trails. At Hiawatha, we talk about *the* trail, because there’s just one. It’s small, for sure, but Hiawatha is a special place to those of us who use it. The wide open spaces mean parents can easily keep an eye on their kids as everyone skis at their own pace. The gentle slopes make it an ideal place for beginners, or for those who want to try skate skiing for the first time. Experienced skiiers who live in South Minneapolis can rack up some kilometers without the longer drive over to Theodore Wirth.
It’s a special place for others, too: snowshoers, skijorers, people out for a walk with or without a dog. While it’s fantastic that Hiawatha serves all forms of winter recreation, the foot traffic chews up Hiawatha’s trail. Grooming the less-than-two-mile trail at least twice a week seems feasible, and would keep the trail in good shape for skiiers.
We also want to see the clubhouse opened to the public on weekends. It’s a fantastic asset and should be put to use. It wouldn’t take much time to create a space where neighbors could meet up, share a hot chocolate and head out onto the trail. After skiing, families and groups could spend time with each other, talking about the day while people warm up.
We talk about building community in our neighborhoods, but wintertime requires some effort. It’s a time of year when people don’t linger in their yards or on their front steps. The clubhouse, if even just for a few hours on weekend afternoons, could serve everyone in the community who wants to share a space together, catch up on neighborhood news and enjoy Minnesota’s best season.
So that’s it. Please open the clubhouse on weekends and groom the trail at least twice a week. We’ll make good use of it. And we'll be grateful that our ski pass dollars are doing something to improve our favorite trail.
Thanks for listening.