Meet Russ “Rooster” Henry



Years ago some friends nicknamed me “Rooster” because I speak out about things that I care about, even if it ruffles some feathers.

For more than 26 years, our Park Board members have often expressed a willingness to reduce the use of pesticides and herbicides in our parks, but for the most part have not followed through.

So, I’m running for Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board Commissioner at Large because I believe our city’s parks can be beautiful and welcoming while also being safe and free of chemicals.

It’s time to move in that direction with commitment and determination and I want to join with those on the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board who also want to follow-through to do the right thing for our kids, pets, air, water and soil. 

I have the experience and knowledge to effectively guide the transition to make our Minneapolis parks pesticide-free.

Though my family moved around a lot when I was a kid, I grew up gardening with my mom wherever we lived. My love of plants inspired me to get a job at a nursery as a teenager, and I worked for other nurseries and landscaping companies until 2005 when I started my own business, Giving Tree Gardens. 

Specializing in organic and sustainable landscape management and design, Giving Tree Gardens reflects my deeply held values on the importance of healthy communities and protecting the environment. Our focus is on rebuilding local ecosystems and local food systems in order to empower residents all around the Twin Cities to grow health at home.

My commitment to these issues continues in my free time. As a member of the Homegrown Minneapolis Food Council, a policy advisory and city-community partnership, I have helped champion city and state policy changes that: 

  • Resolve to make Minneapolis pollinator-friendly
  • Allow urban farming in Minneapolis
  • Expand backyard composting in Minneapolis
  • Extend farm stand hours of operation in Minneapolis
  • Increase the amount of city-owned land available to urban farmers and community gardeners
  • Allow hydrant hookups to water urban farms and community gardens in Minneapolis
  • Enable seed libraries to continue to operate legally in Minnesota

There’s more—but you get the idea. 

As an engaged business owner, active community member and Dad who taught his son to ride a bike in a Minneapolis park, I want to inspire and support everyone to participate in what truly can be People-Powered Parks. 

I hope you’ll help this "Rooster" get elected to the park board in 2017. 


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  • commented 2016-08-08 12:46:34 -0500
    It sounds like you raised your kiddo alone, if so kuddos. I would be happy to vote for someone who has an anti Monsanto point of view.
  • commented 2016-07-21 18:46:48 -0500
    I can’t wait to vote for you Russ! You are the best candidate for this important job.