Tofte Park and Gitchi-Gami Trail Projects

Overview of Process

The community of Tofte is currently partnering with the North Shore Scenic Drive Council and Arrowhead Regional Development Commission (ARDC) to utilize a public meeting process with Landscape Architect CJ Fernandez to create design improvements for both the Town’s Park, as well as alignment of the Gitchi-Gami Trail, which currently terminates on each side of Tofte. Improvements to the park may include: accessibility improvements, new shelter design and location, improved parking, improved interpretive facilities, and other amenities. The Tofte segment of the Gitchi-Gami Trail is programmed by MnDOT to receive $600,000 in federal funding in 2018. The MnDNR has agreed to match those funds with $150,000. The route is currently unplanned, which is the goal of this design project. The project meeting process has been outlined below.

Meeting Process

Meeting #1 (February 5th) Preliminary kickoff/data acquisition Meeting: Discuss the background, area relationships, experiences, needs and opportunities related to the site. Visit the Town Park, Trail route, and area of trail wayside in order to discuss potential options as well as get a stronger association with the site’s opportunities and needs. Create a core ‘steering committee’ to evaluate recommendations & conduct project programming with attendees. Video of meeting available for viewing to the right. Click Here to Read the Meeting #1 Summary

Meeting #2 (May 21st): Design Options Review Meeting- Review design options for the site after analyzing data acquired from meeting one, project programming, and other research. Design options will include both short term and long term recommendations to improve the site. The focus of the design work will address trail route options with focus on a Hwy 61 crossing and Bay crossing, a trail access wayside, and design options for the Tofte Town Park improvements and new park shelter. The primary goal of meeting #2 will be to review the potential design options, establish priorities of improvement options, and also evaluate the feasibility of each recommendation. Video of meeting available for viewing to the right. Click Here to Read the Meeting #2 Summary

Meeting #3 (October 29th) Final Approval / Public Open House Meeting: Present final recommendations and design improvements to both the committee and public in an open house style presentation meeting. Some of the identified groups included: local / adjacent property owners, Gitchi-Gami Trail Association, and others.

At the completion of the project C.J. Fernandez will supply both digital and hard copy of final designs and recommendations in a report, which will also include meeting summaries, cost estimates, and the North Shore Scenic Drive Council along with ARDC will assist in identifying potential funding avenues and grant opportunities available in order to complete the improvements to the site.

Video of Meeting #1

Video of Meeting #2

Video of Meeting #3