Park Safety and Park Rules
HOURS OF OPERATION
City of Houston Parks are open from Dawn to Dusk unless otherwise posted.
EXCEPTIONS of parks with Lighted Sports Fields. For information on permits, visit the Permits and Reservations page on this website.
Camping is permitted in only one park, Lake Houston Wilderness Park, in the City of Houston Parks and Recreation Department System. Please visit the Lake Houston Wilderness Park page on this website for more information on camping and camping options.
Fishing is allowed in the various ponds and lakes at city parks, with the exception of Denman Estate Park. A fishing license is required. Please note that a fishing license from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) is required. For information on TPWD fishing licenses visit https://tpwd.texas.gov/regulations/outdoor-annual/licenses/fishing-licenses-stamps-tags-packages.
Please note metal detecting or ground penetrating radar at the park sites is not allowed. The Houston Parks and Recreation Department is obligated to follow State and local law as well as the terms of our strict deed restrictions.
- Digging (“breaking ground”) for anything like this in a park requires a permit from the State Historical Commission.
- The party breaking ground must be a qualified archeologist approved by the State per code
- Anything actually found beneath the surface is the property of the State of Texas per code
- It would not be considered a project in keeping with the deed restrictions within a number of City of Houston parks.
Swimming is allowed in City pools only during their regular operating hours and season.
Park Rules and Regulations
- Park hours are from dawn to dusk
- Glass containers are prohibited
- Alcoholic beverage consumption is prohibited (unless otherwise indicated)
- Littering is prohibited. Use trash receptacles
- Scooters and skateboards prohibited
- Motorized vehicles prohibited off roadways and beyond parking areas
- Improperly parked vehicles will be towed
- Two hour parking for patrons only
- Vending or sales prohibited without permit
- Hunting or use of firearms prohibited
- Dogs are to remain on leash at all times
- Pet owners are required to pick up after pets Ordinance 2003-1275, Sec. 6-24
- Plants and animals are protected - do not remove or molest
- No person shall feed any animal, fowl, or fish in the parks. No wildlife feeders shall be installed in a park without written permission of the Director.
- Control noise levels – please be respectful of others
- Destroying public property is prohibited by Title 19, Chapter 191 of the Government Code of Texas
- No smoking allowed in any City of Houston park interior and exterior spaces/facilities.
Effective Date September 2, 2014. Enacted under Ordinance #2006-1054; Sec. 21-243
Download a pdf of HPARD Rules & Regulations
The Houston Park and Recreation Department was created on March 15, 1916 by city ordinance. It was originally named the Department of Public Parks. Chapter 32 of the City of Houston Code of Ordinances relates directly to the Parks and Recreation Department.Some frequently referenced sections in Chapter 32 include:
Chapter 32 – Parks and Recreation
- General duties of director (Code of Ordinances, City of Houston, Chapter 32, Article I, Section 32-4)
- Authority of the director (Code of Ordinances, City of Houston, Chapter 32, Article I, Section 32-5)
- Trees, shrubs and plants in public property (Code of Ordinances, City of Houston, Chapter 32, Article I, Section 32-6)
- Maintenance or adoption of natural areas (Code of Ordinances, City of Houston, Chapter 32, Article I, Section 32-10)
- Off Leash Dog Recreation Areas (Code of Ordinances, City of Houston, Chapter 32, Article I, Section 32-11)
- Hours closed to public (Code of Ordinances, City of Houston, Chapter 32, Article II, Section 32-11)
- Creation of Houston Parks Board (Code of Ordinances, City of Houston, Chapter 32, Article VIII, Section 32-11 to 201-213)
Please note: Other chapters in the City of Houston Code of Ordinances are applicable to parks as well. Some frequently referenced ordinances include:Chapter 6 – Animals and Fowls
- Owner's responsibility for animals at large (Code of Ordinances, City of Houston, Chapter 6, Article I, Section 6-2)
- Defecation by Dogs or Cats (Code of Ordinances, City of Houston, Chapter 6, Article I, Section 6-24)
- Chapter 33 – Planning and Development
- Trees, Shrubs and Screening Fences (Code of Ordinances, City of Houston, Chapter 33, Article V)
- Protection of Street Trees (Code of Ordinances, City of Houston, Chapter 33, Article VI)
- Parks and Private Parks (Code of Ordinances, City of Houston, Chapter 42, Article III, Division 7, Section 42-251 to Section 42-259)