Mississippi Gateway Regional Park Redevelopment
Starting in 2017, community members in Brooklyn Park helped Three Rivers Park District and the City of Brooklyn Park develop a new master plan for Mississippi Gateway Regional Park, formerly Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park. The project is moving forward, and in the coming years you’ll start to notice the exciting changes happening at the park. Construction is anticipated to begin in 2023.
Mississippi Gateway Regional Park and the Environmental Nature Area in Brooklyn Park are being combined into a new park that will be a year-round connection for all people to celebrate the Mississippi River and the outdoors.
The master plan process identified new park features that will make the park a more inviting, welcoming and vibrant place for everyone to discover nature and the river. New paved trails and parking lots have already been completed and additional park features will be added over the next few years. These features include a new Mississippi Gateway Center, the Treetop Trail elevated walkway, nature play areas, learning areas, and improvements to spots for fishing, picnicking, archery and more.
Work will be beginning on the Mississippi Gateway Regional Park Redevelopment Project in April. On March 30, the Three Rivers Park District Board of Commissioners awarded the initial round of construction contracts for the project, which officially allows work to begin at the park.
The first change park guests will notice will be the removal of some trees starting in April. Trees are only being removed where necessary due to the location of future park features or required construction access. Three Rivers Park District values trees as an important part of any habitat and does not take the removal of trees lightly, recognizing their removal impacts wildlife and changes the landscape and character of the park. Three Rivers forestry staff carefully evaluated all the trees and made recommendations about which ones can be removed and which ones should be preserved. Existing trees that are remaining, including the large oak tree near the Visitor Center entrance, are being fenced and protected to reduce impacts from construction activities. Wood from some of the removed trees will be used for furniture in the new Gateway Center and potentially for artwork in the building.
To receive emailed project updates, visit this link to sign up for Mississippi Gateway Project Updates and Alerts.
Schematic Design Tour
Take a virtual tour of the design of the new park features in this animation.
Three Rivers Park District and Brooklyn Park collaborated to develop a master plan for what were then known as Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park and the Brooklyn Park Environmental Nature Area. The two parks naturally function as one larger natural resource-based park unit located at Coon Rapids Dam on the Mississippi River. To celebrate its location on one of our nation’s greatest natural treasures, the master plan called for renaming the park Mississippi Gateway Regional Park.
The vision statement for the plan is:
A gateway for everyone to connect with the Mississippi River and its dynamic environment.
Key goals of the plan include:
- Be welcoming and engaging to everyone
- Celebrate the river as the heart of the park
- Introduce people to nature and outdoor recreation
- Provide activity and purpose year-round
Key features of the plan include a new Mississippi Gateway Center, Treetop Trail elevated walkway, nature play areas, Mini-Mississippi play feature, field learning labs, South Pond Learning Lab, nature interpretation nodes, improved trails, fishing, picnicking, non-motorized boat launch, archery, off-leash dog area, natural areas and more!
Read the full plan:
- Part 1: Executive Summary, Title - Table of Contents, Section 1: Partnership, Section 2: Introduction, Section 3: Context
- Part 2: Section 4: Input, Section 5: Summary, Section 6: Design Guidance
- Part 3: Section 7: Research, Section 8: Operations and Maintenance, Section 9: Implementation, Appendices
View the plan renderings:
Jason Zemke, Senior Manager of Architecture
Matt Swenson, Project Manager