Loppet Foundation promotes outdoor equity
February 1, 2020
The Loppet Foundation is a non-profit organization located in the heart of Minneapolis. Loppet began their foundation in 2002, in Theodore Wirth Park. They hosted a Nordic skiing event, and from that moment on, the foundation has grown and is now well-known around the Twin Cities. The foundation takes part in several different initiatives, but their main goal is to help underserved youth and families to go outside on an adventure. The Loppet Foundation has year-round activities like hiking in the fall, skiing in the winter, running in the spring, and triathlons in the summer that teach each member core values such as adventure, excellence, stewardship, integrity, and inclusiveness.
The leading destination for the Loppet Foundation is Theodore Wirth Park, which has countless different trails, ski/sledding hills, and many more. During the winter at Theodore Wirth Park, one can partake in sledding, Nordic skiing, tubing, bird watching, snowboarding, and snowshoeing. The Nordic ski hills are mostly used for practices by local high schools.
“We practice 2-3 times a week from around 3:30-5:30. It’s a nice area for practicing, and I’d be down to come here on the weekends and sled with my friends,” said David Berg, a member of Spring Lake Park and St. Anthony Villages Nordic Ski Team.
Coach Johnston added, “This area is a good spot to come to over the weekend with your family to bike, hike, and do all sorts of activities. I definitely recommend it.”
Unlike the Nordic skiing area, tubing, sledding, and snowboarding hills are open from dawn until dusk almost every day for anyone and everyone. The essential hills are used the most from around 12 PM – 3 PM on Saturdays.
It’s helped shape who I am as a person.”
— Aten-Wa Theba
9th grader Aten-Wa Theba’s father was heavily involved in the Loppet Foundation. Because of his father’s role, Theba was able to spend a considerable amount of time surrounded by the community, which left a positive impact on his life.
“The Loppet Foundation has allowed me to meet tons of great people who have and will impact my life forever, and it’s helped shape who I am as a person drastically,” said Theba.
Theba is a snowboarder that competes all around the country and even the globe.
With all the time he got to hang around the foundation, he was able to learn from others in the fantastic community around him. This has given him a new goal in life, as he aspires to be like some of the incredible people he has met through the foundation.
“The community is the perfect balance of kind, honest, and fun that has become what I hope is a part of me,” Theba said.
Thanks to the community, Theba can now say he truly is a better person.
Anthony Taylor used to be the ‘Adventures Director’ for The Loppet Foundation for the past six years. He is currently participating in the foundation as a volunteer. Taylor is very into the foundation and loves many different things about it.
“They focus on events that offer an opportunity to celebrate the outdoors lifestyle as an athlete or simply as a citizen of the community. They offer unique youth programs that introduce kids from 8 to 17 to outdoor sports like cross-country skiing, mountain biking, running, orienteering, and paddling,” Taylor said.
Taylor is a long-time member of the foundation and wants nothing more than the best for it. He works for about 6 hours per week during the winter months. He enjoys volunteering for the organization because he knows what to do and how to do it, which helps the foundation make significant strides.
One of my values is equity in the outdoors.”
— Anthony Taylor
“One of my values is equity in the outdoors, and so that is where I’m putting my energy right now. I was a director for the Loppet Foundation for six years until September of this year, so I have seen all sides of it from the standpoint of planning, directing, fundraising, and involving volunteers in my current work,” Taylor said.
Even though Taylor is no longer the director of the foundation, he still likes to help them grow by any means necessary.