4900 Mississippi Court
Minneapolis, MN 55430
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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.