The Minneapolis Park Board has renamed a section of Riverside Park after longtime Commissioner Annie Young, who championed solar energy use and clean-water initiatives during her nearly 30-year stint on the board.
In doing so, the board decided not to rename the entire park after her, which it had considered earlier.
Young, who suffered from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, died in January — just one month after fulfilling her seventh term. She was 75.
To recognize her legacy of community activism, commissioners voted last month to rename a section of the park commonly referred to as Lower Riverside Park, along West River Parkway and north of Interstate 94, to Annie Young Meadow. Talk of renaming the entire park to Annie Young Riverside Park was abandoned last week.
Commissioners determined Wednesday that designating the lower parcel had sufficiently "met its goal of honoring Young."
Young served on the board from 1990 until the end of 2017 and was lauded for her conservation efforts. As a straight-talking environmentalist, she fought to reduce how much parkland was mowed and advocated cleaning park buildings with environmentally friendly products. More recently, she campaigned against the use of ground rubber in artificial turf fields and negotiated a dramatic reduction in herbicide use.
Colleagues say Young was "instrumental in the creation, development and stewardship" of riverfront parkland, which includes Riverside Park. Riverside consists of 28 acres along the West Bank of the Mississippi.
Following the vote to rename the lower portion of Riverside in Young's name, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey read a proclamation to her son, Shawn Young, declaring Feb. 7, 2018, as "Annie Young Day."
"Young's character and spirit made her the strong, patient voice in environmental sustainability, social and economic justice and grass-roots democracy," Frey said.