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.

Construction updates

concrete forms for the reservable shelter with trees and cloudy sky in the background

Construction crews at Mississippi Gateway Regional Park are hoping for a dry month ahead and for snow to hold off as long as possible. Regardless of what nature has in store, construction activities will continue through November and throughout the winter.

The structural framing of the maintenance and cold storage buildings is fully complete. Work on the Gateway Center and Treetop Trail was slightly delayed due to the relatively wet October, but work continued on both structures. The reservable shelter’s foundations are nearly complete (photo above).

Looking ahead, crews will start to add exterior roofing and siding to the maintenance buildings, then transition to interior work when possible. The second half of the Gateway Center’s lower level will be excavated and built, with the goal of installing the floor structure of the main level by the end of the month. The reservable shelter’s foundation will be backfilled and ready for installation of the above-ground structure.

A few last site activities will be squeezed in before freezing conditions arrive. First, the final utility connections will be made to the Gateway Center, including the geothermal well. Secondly, the maintenance building parking lot will be paved. Lastly, work on the Treetop Trail’s substructure is planned to be complete in the coming weeks.

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.

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