Three Rivers Park District Board Approves Mississippi Gateway Regional Park Master Plan

September 21, 2018

The Three Rivers Park District Board of Commissioners has approved the final master plan for Mississippi Gateway Regional Park. The master plan was developed in partnership with the City of Brooklyn Park, combining Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park and the Brooklyn Park Environmental Nature Area into one regional park facility.

It represents the long-term vision, development, operations and maintenance plans for the two parks that are located next to each other in the City of Brooklyn Park and naturally function as one larger natural resource-based park unit. Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park is owned and operated by Three Rivers Park District, and the Brooklyn Park Environmental Nature Area is owned and operated by the City of Brooklyn Park.

The vision for the park is to create a gateway for everyone to connect with the Mississippi River and its dynamic environment. Goals outlined in the master plan are to:

  • Celebrate the Mississippi River as the heart of the park;
  • Introduce people to nature and outdoor recreation;
  • Provide activity and purpose year-round; and
  • Be welcoming and engaging to everyone.

Mississippi Gateway Regional Park will be a year-round connection for all people to celebrate the Mississippi River, learn about nature and enjoy the outdoors. Areas of the park, especially those closest to the dam, will focus on active recreation and the river. These areas will include new features that were selected based on extensive community input, including an education and information center, play areas, and a tree canopy walk; a beginner cross-country ski loop and an area for snowshoeing will encourage winter park use. Enhancements to existing features are also planned, including picnic areas, dog off-leash area, archery range, river access for paddling and fishing, and paved trails. 

Other areas of the park will be more wild, with non-paved trails and field learning stations for exploring nature. When complete, the park will include floodplain forest, prairie, oak savanna and wetland. Natural resources management including invasive species removal and controlled burns will be ongoing.

Three Rivers and Brooklyn Park are working together to secure funding for the park projects through capital improvement programs, grants, fundraising and partnerships. Construction will occur as funds are secured. With this master plan approval, the new regional park facility is becoming Mississippi Gateway Regional Park. 

View more information and project updates or follow along with #MississippiGateway.