John's Commitment to You

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

Our adopted Vision Plan recognizes the significant trends that will present both challenges and opportunities for both the near and distant future, and we are currently updating our strategic plan to recognize the changing demographics of those we serve. Achieving Three Rivers' vision will require a renewed commitment to the more than 11 million guests who use our system's 27,000 acres of park reserves, regional parks, regional trails and special use facilities.

As your Commissioner, I will continue to bring my many years of practical experience in successfully meeting the challenges faced by Three Rivers. My proven track record of strong leadership and responsible stewardship will continue to help our great park and trail system be even better in the future.

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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, financial and political 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 inFamily-bike-ride-1024x667.jpg Three Rivers are essential to our quality of life. Maintaining these assets is increasingly challenging as our number of visitors continues to grow by double digits each year. Recreational interests are also changing as the population we serve continues to grow, 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

chicken.JPGFrom cradle to grave, we all have something to learn from the natural wonders thatSenior_Hiking_Group.1.JPG surround us. That's why education is so central to Three Rivers: our mission is to promote environmental stewardship through recreation and education in a natural resources-based park system.

As your Commissioner, I will continue to further expand and strengthen partnerships between our parks system and schools. As a teacher and father of five, I am well aware of the great value that community programming offers for kids, families and seniors. Drawing on this knowledge, I have successfully structured numerous mutually beneficial partnerships with school districts and communities 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, Three Rivers 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 continue to bring my decades of experience in crafting sound budgets to meet the needs of our parks and trails, while responsibly putting in place sustainable 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

Forests.jpgOur 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 continue to do everything possible to accurately assess risks in our parks, and to effectively mitigate those risks with forward-thinking, responsible actions. As Three Rivers Board Chair and as a former city manager, I have had extensive experience with the management of public safety and environmental services.


While Three Rivers faces significant challenges, I have a proven track record of strong leadership and responsible stewardship that will insure we can continue to provide the quality services we have all come to expect. As Board Chair, I am proud of what we have accomplished over the past six years, and remain committed to connecting people with nature through collaborative partnerships, long-term environmental stewardship and fiscally responsible management. 
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John Gunyou
Three Rivers Parks Board Chair