Joe Turner was appointed and approved by City Council as the Director of the Houston Parks and Recreation Department in 2004.

As the Director he directs and manages all parks, parkways, and greenspaces belonging to the City of Houston. This includes improvements to those properties and the management of any others assigned to be under his authority by the mayor and city council. It is also his duty to approve and direct all new improvements and maintenance of these properties. He is also authorized to make rules and regulations for park properties.

Under his leadership the Houston Parks and Recreation Department works daily to fulfill the Department’s mission:

"To enhance the quality of urban life by providing safe well-maintained parks and offering affordable programming for our community

More ...


The Houston Parks and Recreation Department Turns 100 in 2016

This is a big year for employees and associates of the Houston Parks and Recreation Department. We are celebrating the 100th anniversary of the creation of our department by city council and we hope you will join us as we celebrate 100 years of service to Houstonians. These events will be part of the festivities:

100 Year Park Anniversary Celebration Grand Opening of Gragg Park - September 17, 2016 - at Gragg Park
The Gragg Park Grand Opening will be a public event held in celebration of the 100 Year Anniversary of Houston’s park system.
The scope of work for the Gragg Park renovation includes the construction of parking, entry signage, expansion of existing parking, trail work, playground, sportsfield, sportsfield and site lighting, site furnishing, fencing, earthwork, landscaping and irrigation. Project is expected to be completed in the Fall of 2016 barring any unforeseen weather conditions. (Gragg Park Illustrative Plan)

On Tuesday, March 8, 2016, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner congratulated the Houston Parks and Recreation Department for 100 years of service to the city and issued a proclamation naming the department’s anniversary date, March 15, 2016, as Houston Parks and Recreation Department Day. District C Council Member Ellen Cohen was on hand to read the proclamation. Photo Link


Houston Parks 100 Golf Party - February 18, 2016 at Memorial Park
Many thanks to all the volunteers and the golfers who made the Houston Parks and Recreation Department’s Caddy Hack Golf Tournament a great success! (Photo Gallery)



Houston Parks and Recreation Department Centennial in the News:

Great Day Houston show, February 4 – H.P.A.R.D. Director Joe Turner and Andrea White discuss the department’s 100th anniversary
Chron Blog, March 16, 2016: Two Big Announcements Made During 100-Year Anniversary Party for Houston Parks
Culture Map, March 16, 2016: Parks Department Celebrates 100 Years of Green with a Throwback Party to Remember

Chapter 32 - Parks and Recreation Proposed Ordinance Updates

Changes to the City of Houston Municipal Code Chapter 32, which governs the Parks and Recreation Department, are currently being proposed. On September 30, 2015, the Department presented the proposed changes to the City Council Quality of Life Committee.


Ingrando Park
Herman Brown Park
Carverdale & Robinson, Jr., CC

The National Recreation and Park Association, Disney Citizenship, ABC Television and ESPN has collaborated to revitalize parks across the U.S., including a park right here in Houston through Parks Build Community! One of three local park projects will receive a $20,000 grant and Houstonians voted throughout April to choose which one! Results of the voting will be out soon. Thanks to everyone who participated! More ...


The Houston Parks and Recreation Department Celebrates Its 100th Anniversary!
Created by city council in March 1916, the Houston Parks and Recreation Department has served the citizens of Houston for 100 years. These events will be part of the centennial festivities:
- Thursday, February 18, 2016 – Caddy Hack Golf Tournament at Memorial Park
- May 14, 2016 – Reopening of the renovated Gragg Park, 2999 S. Wayside Drive

See Interesting Places – Heritage Society Tour of Gragg Building
Join us Thursday, May 19, 2016, from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. as the Heritage Society hosts a tour of the headquarters of the Houston Parks and Recreation Department! This is part of the Heritage Society’s SIP- See Interesting Places Cocktail Reception and Tour. The 1956 MacKie and Kamrath designed building, with its jaunty angles, green stone, and interior courtyard, is a masterpiece of mid-century modern architecture,is on the National Register of Historic Places, and was once NASA headquarters. Sip cocktails and enjoy hors d’oeuvres as you get a look inside one of Houston’s most interesting buildings! Advanced reservations required.                  More ...

Buffalo Bayou Access at Woodway is now open! Hours: November to March: 7am - Dusk; April to October, 7am - 7pm. For more information visit:
Glenbrook Golf Course is open and operated by the Houston Parks and Recreation Department.

2016 Summer Youth Skateboarding Classes
For more information, please visit the Summer Youth Skateboarding Class page.

Summer Activities Catalog Available Now
Art In Parks Online
Bayou Greenways 2020
Enjoy a visit to Lake Houston Wilderness Park
Park Master Plan
Smoking Ban in City of Houston Parks - Becomes effective September 2, 2014.

More ...


Routine Maintenance / Repair and Improvement Projects

Agnes Moffitt Park Playground Improvements - October 2015 - April 2016
Braeburn Glen Park - October 2015 - Spring 2016
Brays Bayou Trail, south bank between Scott Street and the Tierwester Pedestrian Bridge - November 2015 - Until Further Notice
E.L. Crain Park - January 25, 2016 - Until Further Notice
Freed Park Community Center - February 8 – mid-April 2016
Friendship Pavilion in Hermann Park - September 15, 2015 - Until Further Notice
Gragg Park - January 11, 2016 – September 17, 2016
Haden Park - February 2016 – Until Further Notice
Heights and White Oak Bayou Trails - February 27 – Until Further Notice
Intermittent closure of sections of White Oak Bayou Trail and Hogg Park due to construction on I-45 - January 2016 - June 2017
Jaycee Park Ball Fields - January 7, 2016 - Mid-March 2016, depending on weather conditions
Lansdale Park - January 25, 2015 - Until Further Notice
Lee and Joe Jamail Skatepark - April 4 - October 10, 2016
Levy Park - January 2014 - Until Further Notice
Memorial Park Aquatic Center - October 28, 2015 - Until Further Notice
Memorial Park Green Trail - January 29, 2016 - Until Further Notice
Metropolitan Multi-Service Center - January 11, 2016 - Until Further Notice
Municipal Golf – April 19, 2016
   Brock Park Golf Course is closed.
   Memorial Park is closed on Tuesdays.
   Sharpstown Park Golf Course is open as a par 3 course.
Tranquillity Park Fountain - September 9, 2013 - Until Further Notice
Wildheather Park - January 25, 2016 – Summer 2016, depending on weather conditions
Wright Bembry Park - January 11, 2016 – Summer 2016, depending on weather conditions

Capital Improvement Projects

Guadalupe Park - May 7, 2014 - Until Further Notice

More ...


» Buffalo Bayou Partnership
» Friends of Cherryhurst Park
» Friends of Emancipation Park
» Friends of Lee LeClear Tennis Center
» Friends of Mary Ann Francklow Park
» Friends of Mandel Park
» Friends of Woodland Park
» Grand Slam for Youth Baseball
» Heritage Society at Sam Houston Park
» Hermann Park Conservancy
» Houston Arboretum & Nature Center
» Houston Parks Board
» Memorial Park Conservancy
» Trees for Houston
» Willow Waterhole Greenspace Conservancy

More ...


» Alkek Velodrome
» Discovery Green
» Gerald D. Hines Waterwall Park
» Heritage Society at Sam Houston Park
» Houston Museum of Natural Science
» Houston Zoo
» Market Square
» Miller Outdoor Theatre

More ...


» Capital Improvement Projects
» H.P.D. Crime Monitoring
» Houston Bike Share
» Mayor's Office of Special Events

More ...