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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Candlelight Tour – December 10 –11
Here is your chance to enjoy holiday cheer as experienced in several periods of Houston’s history!  The Heritage Society presents the 54th Annual Candlelight Tour 3:00 – 9:00 p.m. December 10 and 4:00 – 8:00 p.m. December 11.


Emancipation Park Opening Rescheduled
In recognition of the historical significance of Emancipation Park, the City’s celebration of the park’s redevelopment has been rescheduled to Juneteenth weekend 2017. There will be no event on November 12, 2016.

The park will open to the public in January 2017. The Emancipation Park Conservancy and the Houston Parks and Recreation Department will host a celebration of the park redevelopment with a ceremony and festivities on Sunday, June 18, 2017.

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

Avondale Promenade Park – 424 Westheimer
The Houston Parks and Recreation Department submitted a grant application to Texas Park and Wildlife Department on October 1, 2016, requesting $1,000,000 in grant assistance for the development of Avondale Promenade Park at 424 Westheimer. The 0.2292-acre (9,988 sf) property is located on lower Westheimer at Whitney Street in the Avondale neighborhood of the Montrose area. HPARD acquired the property in 2015 conserve open space in this area of high need for parks.

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

Bethel Park
Houston City Council has not yet approved fees for reservations at Bethel Park, located at 801 Andrews Street. The Houston Parks and Recreation Department is not yet authorized to issue permits for this site.

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 Closed for the Season
Houston’s swimming pools are closed until the 2017 summer swim season.

Register To Be A Summer Food Service Program Provider Site!
Since 1980, H.P.A.R.D. has sponsored the Summer Food Service Program for youth ages 1-18 at sites across the city.

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

Youth Tennis Holiday Cheer Tournament - December 10 - 11, 2016
The Houston Parks and Recreation Department and Houston Tennis Association National Junior Tennis & Learning will celebrate the spirit of community service with the 17th Annual Holiday Cheer Tennis Tournament, December 10 – 11, at the Memorial Park Tennis Center, 1500 Memorial Loop Drive.  Children ages 8-18 can take part in divisions based on age and skill levels.

Winter / Spring Activities Catalog Available Soon
H.P.A.R.D.’s 2016 Spring / Winter Activities Guide and Class Catalog will be available online soon!

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Routine Maintenance / Repair and Improvement Projects

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 - Pavilion area closed - Fall 2016
Friendship Pavilion in Hermann Park - September 15, 2015 - Until Further Notice
Heights and White Oak Bayou Trails - February 27 – Until Further Notice
Keegan’s Bayou Trail - September 2016 - Until Further Notice
Lansdale Park - January 25, 2015 - Sprayground area under construction – Fall 2016
Lee and Joe Jamail Skatepark - April 4 - Until Further Notice
Levy Park - January 2014 - Until Further Notice
Memorial Park Green Trail - January 29, 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 2017, depending on weather conditions
Tranquillity Park Fountain- November 9, 2016 – January 2017

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» Buffalo Bayou Partnership
» Emancipation Park Conservancy
» Friends of Cherryhurst Park
» Friends of Lee LeClear Tennis Center
» Friends of Mary Ann Francklow Park
» Friends of Mandel Park
» Friends of Oak Forest 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
» Levy Park Conservancy
» Memorial Park Conservancy
» Trees for Houston
» Willow Waterhole Greenspace Conservancy


These facilities and park systems are not operated by the Houston Parks and Recreation Department. We provide this contact information as a public service.

» Alkek Velodrome
» Discovery Green
» Gerald D. Hines Waterwall Park
» Harris County Precinct One Park System
» Harris County Precinct Two Park System
» Harris County Precinct Three Park System
» Harris County Precinct Four Park System
» Heritage Society at Sam Houston Park
» Houston Museum of Natural Science
» Houston Zoo
» Market Square
» Miller Outdoor Theatre


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