4900 Mississippi Court
Minneapolis, MN 55430
Interpretive Center Hours
Monday – Friday: 9 am – 5 pm*
*Thursday: 9 am – 8 pm
Saturday: 10 am – 5 pm
Sunday: 12 noon – 5 pm
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Features & Amenities
View a list of recreation centers sorted by which locations are equipped with air conditioning [PDF].
- Interpretive exhibits about the Mississippi River and local wildlife
- Bird watching station
- Hands-on fun for children
- Interact with live education animals
- Nature exploration resources available for free check out at the front desk
- Drinking Fountain
- Restroom Facility
- No-charge Parking Lot
- Nice Ride Bike Share
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All Ages Public Programs
Early Birding: Join us the first Saturday each month to go bird-watching with a naturalist
Family Fundays: One Sunday a month spend an afternoon filled with nature themed activities for the whole family
Nature Hikes and Outdoor Programs: Explore seasonal topics in the park with a naturalist
Nature Art: Get creative with arts and crafts using nature as the subject, medium or both
Nature Nuts Play Group
Come with your little one to play and have fun in nature with other children and their guardians. Each day will be different but will explore a variety of nature themes including animals, plants and seasons. For kids ages 6 and under with an adult to enjoy the outdoors together!
School Release Day Programs
Keep kids active, engaged and learning when they are off from school. Offering full day (8 am-4 pm) programs for school-age children 6 to 12 years old during breaks and release daysBrowse & Register
Rentals & Permits
Large Group Programming: Bring your group for outdoor education in the park! Choose from a variety of interactive nature-based curricula available for school groups, daycares, homeschool co-ops and scout troops. Call 612-370-4838 for details and booking.
Birthday Party Reservations: We provide a 2.5 hour room rental, complete with tables, chairs and a sink. Included in that timeframe is a one hour naturalist-led program (with a variety of themes to choose from). Call for additional details and booking information.
State Senators Carl Kroening of north Minneapolis and Bill Luther of Brooklyn Center obtained funding from the state legislature in 1985 for the development of a regional park on the banks of the Mississippi River from North Mississippi Park into Brooklyn Center on the west bank and Anoka County on the east bank. Kroening was instrumental in acquiring state funding, administered through the Metropolitan Council, for Minneapolis parks. He was later honored by having the park’s interpretive center named for him. The new park was to be developed jointly by the Minneapolis park board along with the Anoka County park board and Three Rivers Park District (Hennepin County).
The deal between the park board and the state led to the creation of another waterfall in Minneapolis parks. The new I-94 freeway passed over Shingle Creek between Webber Park and North Mississippi Park, so the state’s plan was to run the creek through a culvert under the freeway. The park board instead developed a plan to drop the creek in one step in an artificial waterfall west of the freeway and create paths beside the creek under the freeway. That plan enabled the uninterrupted connection of pathways along Shingle Creek to the river trails and beyond.
From 1987 to 1989 the park board acquired the last 17 acres to extend the park to the north Minneapolis city limit at 53rd Avenue North. Part of the land that had once held a housing project along the river was acquired from the Minneapolis Community Development Agency for about $2.5 million and private land was purchased for nearly $2 million more.
A trail system through the park, connecting to Shingle Creek and commuter routes downtown was developed in 1997.
The unique legislation that created joint responsibility for the park led to a partnership in operating the park. When the Carl Kroening Interpretive Center was opened in the park in 2002, programming was provided by the Three Rivers Park District even though the center is in Minneapolis. Regional park funding also was responsible for the construction in the park of the largest picnic shelter in Minneapolis parks, a wading pool, rock waterfall and playground at the north end of the park.
Solar panels were added to the Carl Kroening Interpretive Center in 2010.
Park history compiled and written by David C. Smith.