Commissioner Young

District: At Large View Map [PDF]

annie young picture

Mailing Address

2117 West River Road N
Minneapolis, MN 55411


Phone: 612-230-6443, Extension 9

Previous Terms

  • 2010-2013
  • 2006-2009
  • 2002-2005
  • 1998-2001
  • 1994-1997
  • 1990-1993


Born in Los Angeles and raised in Denver, Young arrived in the Midwest in the early 1970s. A resident of the Phillips neighborhood since 1988, she is serving her fifth term as an at-large Commissioner. Young has been a professional community organizer for over 35 years with an emphasis on the environment and environmental justice issues. She has helped non-profit and community-based organizations with project and program management and organizational start-up and management/administrative experience. Young has skills in event and logistics planning, small business consulting, motivational speaking, environmental and community organizing, networking and finding resources.


As a steward of the park system and a public servant, it is my duty to help operate and maintain the vast amounts of water (both lakes and the Grandfather Mississippi River), urban forest and open green spaces within our borders. These are the crown jewels of our city and must be well protected. As a citywide Commissioner, I bring a broad vision of the park system to my job. I am dedicated to the principles of sustainability and trying to weave them into the fabric of the Park System and the city. I believe active and leisure recreational programming for all of the city's residents must be balanced with the regional attraction of our parks and lakes. I have a strong commitment to equity and justice within our parks for all Mpls residents. I personally want to thank those who preceded me, especially our Park System forefathers who 127 years ago pursued their dreams to establish the finest park system in America. I am honored to serve.

Citywide Focus

  • Bring balance to the system through equity and fairness making our facilities accessible to all residents in all parts of the city.
  • Provide environmental leadership to the Park Board to help ensure that the parks, lakes and trees are the base of a sustainable eco-city for future generations.

New Developments or Initiatives

  • Dedicated to the ecological restoration of Bassett's Creek, along with new parkland coming with the Northside's Heritage Park and Bassett's Creek redevelopment.
  • Promote "green" thinking in Park System from renewable energy options, energy conservation efforts, promotion of "green" building technologies and amenities and sustainable land management practices.
  • More green space and trees (or native plantings) downtown.
  • Committed to open and transparent processes along with more citizen participation.
  • Ongoing review of use of pesticides in the parks and continued reduction in use; promote organic methods wherever possible.
  • Keep on task measures to protect water quality in our lakes and the environmental restoration of wetlands and prairie.
  • Support operating the Wirth House as an historical interpretive site managed by the Minneapolis Parks Legacy Society.

Career Highlights/ Public Service

  • Environmental justice organizer in the Harrison Neighborhood focusing on environmental justice issues and health disparities facing communities of color.
  • President, Phillips Community Energy Cooperative.
  • Committee on Urban Environment (CUE) – City committee member for 14 years.
  • Consultant on organization start-up.
  • Seward Co-op – Past collective/management team member, board member, president for two terms.
  • Whittier Alliance and Whittier Community Development Corporation (CDC) – Served on Alliance board and first president of CDC board.
  • Midwest Consortium
  • Environmental Coordinator, Women's Cancer Resource Center – Serving on an environmental team that addresses actions and choices that can be made as women move through their cancer experience. Her work includes presentations and research for primary prevention through healing the environment and covers a range of topics: home cleaning products, personal care aids, foods we eat, the milk we drink and caring for our lawns and gardens.
  • Project founder and coordinator of The Green Institute, 1993-1999-Varied tasks during that time: associate director, human resource manager, community relations and education director.
  • Served on founding Board of Environmental Justice Advocates of Minnesota.
  • Organized and assisted the formation of many of the over 400 food co-ops in the Upper Midwest during the 1970s and 1980s.
  • Public speaker local and national-recognized orator on topics such as sustainability, environmental justice, community building and organization.
  • Community building – Grassroots and local neighborhood organization for over 35 years.


  • Mother of Environmental Justice Award from Women's Environmental Institute, October 2008
  • "Women on Lake Street" – Macalester College, Special Project and Award 2005.
  • Mayor's Healthy City Award finalist 2004.
  • NRP, 10-Year Anniversary Awards-Founding of Green Institute and outstanding volunteer efforts during past 10 years, February 2001.
  • Emcee & Program Coordinator-Nader Super-rally, Target Center, Sept. 21, 2000.
  • Chrysalis 25 Shining Women Award, 1999
  • League of Women Voters Citizens and Democracy Recognition, 1999
  • Renew America and President's Council on Sustainable Development, 1999
  • Planet Neighborhood Visionary Feature, 1999
  • Twin Cities Daily Planet – Press release about proposed Charter Amendment to eliminate the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, Feb. 11, 2009
  • City Pages – "The Green Institute faces possible foreclosure after 15 years", Nov. 18, 2008
  • Think Forward, ITAP – "A Chance to do the Right Thing", October 2008
  • Minnesota Women's Press – "Green Gals", July 2008
  • Minnesota Monitor – "Lowe's ads get ok from Mpls Parks", June 6, 2008
  • Minnesota Women's Press – "What's Ahead in 2015? 15 Women Reflect, April 2000

Special Interest

Flowers, gardening, travel, politics, playing cards.


Certificates of Completion:

  • EPA Training: Environmental Law and Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Directors and Organizers Management Training, Wilder Foundation, St. Paul, MN
  • NASCO Board of Directors Trainer for Cooperatives, Ann Arbor, MI
  • New School for Democratic Management and Economic Development Leadership Training, Mpls, MN

College Course work:

  • Colorado Women's College, Denver, CO, 1960
  • Santa Monica City College, 1961-63

Self Taught Education:

  • Master's in Social Change-University of Life, Phillips campus, Minneapolis, MN


Son, Shawn and his family (2 grandchildren) live in Madison, WI. Young also has a large extended family and community in Mpls.

About the Board

In 1883, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board was created by an act of the Minnesota State Legislature and a vote of Minneapolis residents. It serves as an independently elected, semi-autonomous body responsible for governing, maintaining, and developing the Minneapolis Park System.

City of Minneapolis voters elect nine commissioners every four years: one from each of the six park districts, and three that serve at-large. View District Map [PDF]

Board Appointments

An annual meeting of the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board takes place on the first business day in January of each year. The following business is conducted:

  • The Board elects two Commissioners as President and Vice-President and appoints a Secretary who is not a member of the Board.
  • Whenever a vacancy occurs in the office of an elected Commissioner, the Board fills that vacancy, usually through appointment.
  • The President appoints Commissioners to serve on Standing Committees of the Board. Each Committee has five Board members (including the Chair of the Committee), with the Chair of the Committee named first. Standing Committees include:
    • Planning
    • Recreation
    • Operations and Environment
    • Administration and Finance
    • Legislation and Inter-Governmental
    • Standards and Conduct

Roles & Responsibilities

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board performs its many duties through the contributions of elected Commissioners and the leadership of the Superintendent. Their actions are guided according to the following roles and responsibilities.


  • Develop park policies
  • Enact ordinances governing the use of neighborhood and regional parks, parkways, beaches and lakes, and special use facilities such as pools, ice arenas and golf courses
  • Appoint the Superintendent

Board Rules [PDF]