It is with great sadness that the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) learned of the passing of former Commissioner Annie Young.
Commissioner Young retired from the MPRB Board of Commissioners in December 2017, after serving as a Commissioner At Large since January 1990, making her one of the two longest-serving Commissioners in Board history.
“Annie’s passing is a huge loss to the Park Board and the City of Minneapolis,” said MPRB Superintendent Jayne Miller. “Her commitment to our park system, to the environment and to programs and services for children and young people helped us to become the number one park system in the country that we are today. She will be deeply missed.”
During her 28-year tenure, Commissioner Young was a champion of the environment. Young’s efforts to promote and develop environmentally beneficial approaches to operations and recreation activities throughout the park system included championing solar energy initiatives and the Clean Water Partnership, as well as an Integrated Pest Management Plan that led to a 95% reduction in the use of chemicals and pesticides in parks during her time as a commissioner.
She also championed stewardship of the Mississippi River, and the parkland along it, including supporting restoration of the historic Stone Arch Bridge and Mill Ruins Park, which today are among the most-visited gems within the park system.
Young was also committed to programs and services for children and young people and was one of the visionaries who helped create the Teen Teamworks youth employment program.
In 2017, Commissioner Young was honored by resolutions from both the Minneapolis Park Board and the City of Minneapolis acknowledging her contributions, commitment, hard work, initiative and creativity in service.
The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board has lowered flags on park properties to half-mast until January 31 to honor Commissioner Young.
Young’s family has asked for privacy and time to grieve their loss. Memorial service arrangements are pending.