For Wayzata residents, the past few years have seen a surge in residential and commercial development, bringing with it a vibrancy and level of energy not seen perhaps since the days of James J. Hill. The speed of change has left many wondering what Wayzata’s future will look like. Will the city be able to embrace this growth while maintaining its charm and family-friendly community, as well as being accessible to all? Can it be a great and a ordable place to live, and a great place to visit? How can Wayzata retain its small town charm, yet serve as a regional gateway for lake recreation?

Throughout Wayzata’s history, numerous efforts were made to address the relationship between the city and its greatest asset, Lake Minnetonka. In 1920 and 1994 for instance, plans to revitalize Wayzata’s 3,666 feet of lakeshore to make it more accessible and safe were considered but never adopted. It was not until August 2016, after extensive community involvement and input that the Wayzata Lake Effect park project was approved, with a vision to honor and build on Wayzata’s unique location, history, environmental stewardship, and community.

So, how will this impact Wayzata’s residents and local community?

The park project will connect Wayzata’s shoreline by boardwalk, provide new green spaces and access for all. For the first time in 100 years, our community will have direct access to Lake Minnetonka. The boardwalk will enable people to safely cross the railroad tracks, walk the downtown lakefront and touch the water. The new parks will provide a vastly enhanced lakefront that will not only be more accessible and beautiful but will improve the shoreline ecology by treating rain run-off that flows into the lake through a naturally restored shoreline.

The Lake Effect is a partnership with the community and an investment in Wayzata’s public space. The Lake Effect Conservancy, the non-profit charged with raising private funds for the project, has begun the task of raising $15 million required to make this vision a reality. The result? Creation of a quality public space that contributes to Wayzata’s beauty, prosperity, and well-being.