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. 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 currently are being added. 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.

Construction updates

a view of the Gateway Center building foundation with a wood wall in the background

While exterior work at Mississippi Gateway was slowed or stopped during the coldest days in January, crews were still able to make relatively good progress during the unseasonably warm weather at the end of the month.

Inside the Maintenance Building, contractors painted walls, finished flooring surfaces, installed ceilings, light fixtures and overhead doors. The Cold Storage Building is generally complete except for the installation of exterior siding.

The Gateway Center reached two significant milestones. First, the lower level was fully enclosed upon installation of the precast concrete flooring planks early in January, which then allowed work to begin on underground plumbing and electrical lines within the lower level (photo below). The second milestone was reached with completion of foundation walls on the western half of the building.

Work will intensify on the Maintenance buildings in February as both buildings enter the final stages of construction. Interior fixtures, equipment and furnishings will be installed, systems will be tested and exterior siding will be finished. The Gateway Center’s foundations will be backfilled, and crews will begin constructing the walls of the main level in February (photo above). Additionally, crews plan to begin installing the above-ground steel structure of both the Treetop Trail and the Large Reservable Shelter this month if weather holds.

A short segment of the Rush Creek Regional Trail near Mississippi Gateway is detoured to the east side of West River Road through late 2024.

Restrooms and drinking fountains in the Visitor Center are available through the duration of construction; however, all other drinking fountains at the park will be inoperable until new city water service and metering are in place.

To receive emailed project updates, visit this link to sign up for Mississippi Gateway Project Updates and Alerts.

the interior of the Gateway Center lower level, with concrete walls and an unfinished dirt floor

Schematic Design Tour

Take a virtual tour of the design of the new park features in this animation.

Overview Maps

A map of the proposed park features on the east side of Mississippi Gateway Regional Park.
An overview of the proposed park features on the east side of Mississippi Gateway Regional Park.


A map of the proposed park features on the west side of Mississippi Gateway Regional Park.
An overview of the proposed park features on the west side of Mississippi Gateway Regional Park.

Master Plan

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:

Contact Us

Jason Zemke, Senior Manager of Architecture



Matt Swenson, Project Manager