Max B. Kannowski was the Grand Forks Superintendent of Parks from 1921 until his death in 1933. He was known nationally for his pioneering work about a barberry bush being the cause of wheat rust. He was even honored by the Federal Department of Agriculture for this work.
Kannowski was born in Alpena, Michigan on October 17, 1893. He attended the Michigan Agricultural College and the University of Michigan. At the University of Michigan, he was the first student to combine forestry and landscape gardening. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in 1917.
Kannowski’s first job was in Mitchell, South Dakota, as the Park and Street Commissioner. He served in the army during the First World War. In Mitchell he met Frances Burdick, who would later become his wife. In 1921, he took the job as Grand Forks Superintendent of Parks, but continued his courtship of Frances and married her in Chicago, where she was living and working at the time, on February 10, 1923. She moved to Grand Forks and they eventually had two sons, David and Paul. As Superintendent in Grand Forks, Kannowski improved and beautified the city parks, modernized the tourist encampment and introduced city planned playground activities.
Max Kannowski was active in many other Grand Forks organizations, such as the Masons, the Elks, the Legion, the North Dakota Peony Club and the Rotary Club. Kannowski was also active nationally in such organizations as the American Institute of Park Executives.
Kannowski died July 22, 1933 of leukemia. He was succeeded as Superintendent of Parks by his wife, Frances.
Grand Forks Park Board Records: OGLMC 566