Why vote for John?

Three Rivers Park District is one of the most highly respected park systems in the entire country. The leadership and foresight of the founders created a spectacular regional parks system that contributes greatly to our quality of life today.

The District's ten-year Vision Plan recently adopted by the Three Rivers Board of Commissioners recognizes the signficant emerging trends that will present both challenges and opportunities for the near and distant future. Achieving the District's vision will require a renewed committment to the nine million guests who use the system's 27,000 acres of park reserves, regional parks, regional trails and special use facilities.

If elected to serve as your commissioner, I will bring years of practical experience in successfully meeting the same kind of challenges faced by Three Rivers Parks. My proven track record of strong leadership and responsible stewardship will help our great park system be even better in the future.

Environmental Stewardship

We are truly fortunate to live in communities that honor and treasure the natural beauty of our lakes and creeks, forests and prairies - those amenities that define our Minnesota quality of life, and make us the envy of the nation. With increasing development pressures, we have an even greater responsibility to be good stewards of our environment, and to do everything we can to preserve those gifts for future generations.

As your commissioner, responsible and balanced conservation of our natural resources will continue to be one of my highest priorities. I take great pride in my long record of open space preservation and protection of wetlands and woodlands. The programs I have initiated and managed insure that these natural resources will be enjoyed for generations to come.

Parks and Trails

In every season, our parks are a place to gather, recreate and have fun. From sports activities to playgrounds, to hundreds of miles of trails for biking, hiking and skiing, recreation opportunities in the Three Rivers Park District are essential to our communities' quality of life. Maintaining these assets is increasingly challenging as the number of visitors at the District's 21 parks continues to grow - up by 60 percent in just the past five years. Recreational interests are also changing as the population the District serves continues to age and diversify.

As your commissioner, I will continue to advocate for the proper planning and maintenance of our parks and trails to insure that they remain central gathering places for our communities to exercise, relax and recreate. I have long been a leader in innovative service management, with extensive practical experience in renewing and maintaining the high quality parks and trails we and our neighbors have come to expect.

Educational Outreach

From Kindergarten to retirement, we all have something to learn from the natural wonders that surround us. That's why education is so central to the functions of the Three Rivers Park District. The fundamental mission of the District is to promote environmental stewardship through recreation and education in a natural resources-based park system.

As your commissioner, I will work to further strengthen partnerships between our parks system and schools. As a teacher and father of five, I am well aware of the great value of community programming for kids, families and seniors. Drawing on this knowledge, I have successfully structured numerous mutually beneficial partnerships with school districts over the years.

Responsible Budgets

The future of our park system is dependent on the forward-thinking investments we make today. With limited resources and limited options, the District faces practical and political challenges in maintaining quality services. Delivering good value for the tax dollar will be increasingly difficult as the gap continues to widen between service demands and the capacity to meet those expectations.

As your commissioner, I will bring more than 40 years of experience in crafting sound budgets to meet the immediate needs of our parks and trails, while responsibly putting in place sustainable financial plans that guarantee sound operations well into the future. I am widely respected throughout the country for innovative financial strategies, and enjoy a solid reputation for getting things done in challenging economic times.

Safe Parks for Everyone

Our parks should be a safe place for our children and families to gather, learn and play. Proper maintenance and security are vital to the well being of our parks, and the safety of our loved ones.

As your commissioner, I will do everything possible to accurately assess risks in our parks, and to effectively mitigate those risks with forward-thinking, responsible actions. As a city manager, I have had extensive experience with the management of public safety services.


While the Three Rivers Park District faces significant challenges, I have a proven track record of strong leadership and responsible stewardship that will ensure the District can continue to provide the quality services we have all come to expect. My highest priority as your commissioner will be to preserve and nurture great parks for today and tomorrow.


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John Gunyou
Three Rivers Parks Board Chair