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

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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:

Guadalupe Plaza Park Reopening – July 30, 2016
Come join Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, District H Council Member Karla Cisneros, H.P.A.R.D. Director Joe Turner, and the Greater East End Management District for the reopening of Guadalupe Plaza Park, from 10:00 a.m. – noon, Saturday, July 30, 2016. Entertainment will be provided by the TalentoBilingue Houston Summer Arts Camp and a Mariachi group, and activities will include bounce houses, a bicycle rodeo, ice cream, and snacks. Located at 2311 Runnels, 77003, the grand park renovation has preserved original park elements such as the Azios Family Fountain, the Ely Escobar Memorial Pecan Tree, and the historic marquee columns, while adding a splash pad and direct links to the Buffalo Bayou Trail, pedestrian walkways, and East End bike paths. (Invitation)

100 Year Park Anniversary Celebration Grand Opening of Gragg Park - Fall 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


Brock Park Golf Course - June 7, 2016 - Until Further Notice
Beginning Tuesday, June 7, 2016, the Brock Park Golf Course is closed until further notice. Recent weather conditions have damaged two bridges in the park and the course is closed indefinitely for repairs.

Municipal Pools Open for the Summer
Houston’s swimming pools are open Tuesday through Sunday, 1:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. for recreation and relief from the summer heat! Emancipation Park Pool is closed due to construction.

Summer Enrichment Program
The Summer Enrichment Program is a ten-week day camp-style program for youth ages 6 – 13. Required on line registration is ongoing until all the spots are filled. To apply, please go to H.P.A.R.D.’s on line registration site, open an account or sign in with one you already have, search “Summer Enrichment Program,” scroll down the list until you find the appropriate location and dates, then add to your cart.
- After School Enrichment Program & Summer Enrichment Program Online Registration
- Online Registration Instructions

Youth Tennis Summer Programs
The Houston Youth Tennis Program is a free, year-round program offered for youth ages 6 – 18 (ages 4 - 18 during the summer). Registration

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

Summer Activities Catalog Available Now
H.P.A.R.D.’s 2016 Summer Activities Guide and Class Catalog is available online now!

Art In Parks Online
Available as a publication, by cell phone, or on the web, Art In Parks is a multi-platform guide that offers information on 91 pieces of municipal art located in 24 parks across the city

Bayou Greenways 2020
Bayou Greenways 2020 is a public private project being developed to connect green corridors with hike and bike trails along bayous in the greater Houston Area

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Routine Maintenance / Repair and Improvement Projects

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
Brock Park Golf Course - June 7, 2016 -– Until Further Notice
Cambridge Village Park/Southwest Police Station - May 2016 - Fall 2017
E.L. Crain Park - January 25, 2016 - Until Further Notice
Freed Park Community Center - February 8 – Until Further Notice
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 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.
Tanglewood Park – July 15, 2016 - Winter 2016/17, depending on weather conditions
Tranquillity Park Fountain - July 15, 2016 - Winter 2016/17, depending on weather conditions
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

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» 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

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» 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

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

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