New Superintendent of Minneapolis Parks to take reins January 20

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board’s (MPRB) next Superintendent, Alfred Bangoura, will take over leading the nationally acclaimed park system on January 20, 2019.

The Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a three-year contract with Bangoura at tonight’s Board meeting. He will succeed Superintendent Emeritus Mary Merrill, who has served as interim superintendent and has been leading the organization since February.

“Mr. Bangoura stood out from a national pool of candidates as having the unique skills needed for our Superintendent. Al believes our parks are for everyone and he’s ready to advance this Board’s mandate of increasing our investment in youth and building an even better park system for our guests and everyone who calls Minneapolis their home,” said Brad Bourn, President of the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board. “His knowledge of Minneapolis and our parks coupled with his unique professional skills will provide cohesiveness and inspire collaboration.”

“I am honored to lead Minneapolis Park and Recreation, the premier park system in the country,” said Al Bangoura.  “For 19 years, I had the privilege of serving Minneapolis residents and working with passionate communities.  I am excited to reconnect with internal staff and the community.  I intend to be the voice on how we build communities, deliver meaningful services and meet the diverse needs of Minneapolis residents.  Thank you and I look forward to coming back home!”

Next month it is anticipated Commissioners will vote on a separate resolution related to leasing Bangoura a portion of the Theodore Wirth Home and Administration Building, located in Lyndale Farmstead Park. The lease will be based on fair market rental value and will take into consideration ongoing scheduled public access to portions of the home.

Bangoura is currently the Recreation Superintendent of Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation, which includes Charlotte, NC and serves over 1.1 million people. Bangoura currently oversees community and recreation services for the county’s 17 recreation facilities and three senior and active adult facilities. He is a Certified Park and Recreational Professional (CPRP) and prior to joining Mecklenburg County, Bangoura served as the Director of Recreation Centers and Programs for the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board. From 2001 – 2015, Bangoura held a variety of progressive recreation leadership positions with the MPRB.

The MPRB Superintendent provides day-to-day leadership for the 6,811 acre nationally recognized park system. The Superintendent manages an annual operating and capital budget of almost $125 million and oversees the work of approximately 570 full-time and 1,170 temporary Minneapolis Parks employees who deliver programs, services and facilities that are responsive to the diverse needs of City residents and all segments of the community.

Former MPRB Superintendent Jayne Miller resigned from the Park Board in February 2018 to take a position leading a public-private parks conservancy in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Superintendent Emeritus Mary Merrill was unanimously selected by the Board to fulfill Miller’s contract and to assist in the search process for the next superintendent.