The Houston Parks & Recreation Department (H.P.A.R.D.) was created by City Ordinance on March 15, 1916. The Department of Public Parks, as it was called at that time, consisted of two parks - Sam Houston Park & Hermann Park. Taken together, they totaled about 465 acres of land.
Today, the Houston Parks & Recreation Department (H.P.A.R.D.) stewards & manages over 37,832 acres of parkland & greenspace for the City of Houston; develops & implements recreational programming for citizens of all abilities; maintains greenspace for the Houston Public Library & the Houston Health Department & manages all H.P.A.R.D. facilities.
H.P.A.R.D. works daily to fulfill its mission:
“To enhance the quality of urban life by providing safe
well-maintained parks & offering affordable
programming for our community.”
H.P.A.R.D. Latest News
»» Recreation Catalog Available Now
H.P.A.R.D.’s Summer Activities Guide and Class Catalog is available online now! Check out the listings for recreation, fitness, and educational opportunities you and your family can take part in!
»» Adopt A Monument Recognition
On Tuesday, May 28, the Houston Parks and Recreation Department and Houston Arts Foundation thanked two schools for taking part in the Adopt A Monument program: Twain Elementary’s 3-year adoption of Henry Moore’s Large Spindle Piece in Buffalo Bayou Park and Bunker Hill Elementary’s 17-year adoption of the Sam Houston Equestrian Statue in Hermann Park.
»» Buffalo Bayou Trail Map Available Now
Runners, hikers, and bicyclists can now enjoy the new Buffalo Bayou Trail Map, thanks to the Buffalo Bayou Partnership. Pinpointed along the 10-mile trail route are significant park facilities, art works, and parking options. The map is available online and printed copies can be picked up at the Houston Visitor’s Center and at Hotel Icon.
»» Beginning Skateboarding - June 4 - June 27, 2013
H.P.A.R.D.’s world-class in-ground skatepark facility, the Lee & Joe Jamail Skatepark, is the site for FREE classes for youth ages 6 – 17, Tuesdays & Thursdays from June 4 – June 27. Helmets required!
»» Freedom Over Texas – July 4, 2013
Eleanor Tinsley Park is the place to be for fun and excitement this July Fourth! Come join your friends and neighbors for live music and great fireworks for Southwest Airlines Freedom Over Texas with Entertainment Presented by NRG.
»» Lee & Joe Jamail Skatepark Closure
The Lee & Joe Jamail Skatepark will be closed Sunday, June 30 – Friday, July 5 for the setup and teardown of the Freedom Over Texas Fourth of July event.
»» Hershey’s Track & Field - June 11 & July 9, 2013
Young athletes ages 6 – 14 can compete with their friends in two days of running, jumping and throwing through the Hershey’s Track & Field Games. Register now through your neighborhood community center!
»» Junior Tennis Lessons - June 10 - July 3 & July 8 - August 1, 2013
The Houston Parks and Recreation Department offers FREE tennis lessons for children ages 4 – 18 at parks across the city. Equipment is provided during class. Register online or at the park on the first day of class.
»» Summer Enrichment Program - June 3 - August 9, 2013
The Houston Parks and Recreation Department offers this day-camp style program for youth ages 6 – 13 at 49 H.P.A.R.D. community centers. Attendees take part in a wide range of fun and educational activities. Registration is required and spaces fill up quickly.
»» Water Fitness Classes - June 4 - August 9, 2013
Join the fun and stay cool while keeping fit! The Houston Parks and Recreation Department offers water fitness classes for adults and for youth ages 9 – 17.
»» Junior Golf Lessons - June 11 - August 17, 2013
Youth ages 7 – 18 learn sportsmanship and the sport of golf at H.P.A.R.D.’s The First Tee of Houston at F.M. Law Park. New sessions for this year-round program begin this June!
»» Summer Food Service Program - June 4 - August 17, 2013
Youth ages 1 – 18 can receive a FREE lunch and snack every weekday from June 4 – August 17 at over 460 locations across the city through H.P.A.R.D.’s Summer Food Service Program. Consult this list for site information, or call 2.1.1. or 713.676.6832.
»» Learn to Swim Classes – June 18 – August 23
FREE Learn to Swim classes will be conducted at all Houston Parks and Recreation Department Aquatic Centers from 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, from June 18 - August 23. Classes are for ages 5 and up and are scheduled for 2-week sessions running 30-minutes each. Please consult the list of pools for locations and register online.
»» Art In Parks Online Now
Get up close and personal with great civic art in Houston parks by logging on to Art In Parks, or pick up a free brochure, available at H.P.A.R.D. community centers and at the City of Houston Visitors Center! This guide leads you on art tours through Hermann Park, the downtown area, and parks in the Greater Houston area.
»» Houston Arboretum & Nature Center Events
Located in Memorial Park, the Houston Arboretum offers a variety of classes and events for everyone in the family! Check the Calendar of Events for information!
»» Enjoy a visit to Lake Houston Wilderness Park
Located a few miles north of the city, Lake Houston Wilderness Park offers 4,786.6 acres of forested beauty. Attractions include a nature center with naturalist-guided events, wooded hiking trails, kayaking in Peach Creek, bird and wildlife watching, camping sites, and overnight stays in beautiful cabins! Call 281.354.6881 or go online for more information.
Routine Maintenance / Repair & Improvement Projects
»» Cole Creek Park – May 2 – July 12, 2013
Tennis court lights are out of service until further notice. Repairs are underway and service should be restored by July 12, 2013, barring unforeseen weather conditions.
»» Tidwell Park – May 2 – July 19, 2013
Ball field and tennis court lights are out of service until further notice. Repairs are underway and service should be restored by July 19, 2013, barring unforeseen weather conditions.
»» Elizabeth Baldwin Park - April 2 – August, 2013
Scope of work includes: additional decomposed granite trail, additional playground, additional site furnishing, site lighting, site drainage, landscaping, and irrigation. During construction, most of the park will be closed to the public, but portions of the trail will remain open, and the contractor will maintain a continuous loop around the park. The completion of this project should take place in August 2013, barring unforeseen weather conditions.
»» Glover Park – April 2 – August, 2013
Scope of work includes: a decomposed granite plaza, bocce ball court, seating deck, site amenities, site draining, landscaping, and irrigation. Construction is expected to be completed in August 2013, barring unforeseen weather conditions.
»» Tranquillity Park Fountain – January 29, 2012 – Until Further Notice
The tall stacks on the Tranquillity Park fountain are not operational at this time due to a mechanical problem. We are working toward a solution but do not have a completion date at this time. In the meantime, the lower fountains remain operational.
»» Buffalo Bayou Park Trail Closed – August 13, 2012 – Until Further Notice
The Buffalo Bayou Hike & Bike Trail beside Allen Parkway will be closed from the Rosemont Bridge to Sabine Street starting Monday, August 13, 2012. This closure accommodates construction on the trail & bank stabilization at Taft Street. Signs are in place to direct runners & bikers to use the trail on the north bank of the bayou adjacent to Memorial Drive.
Capital Improvement Projects
»» Keith-Wiess Park - January 30, 2012 – May, 2013
Work at Keith-Wiess Park will begin January 30, 2012. Scope of work includes: site clearing & utilities, installing a modular office building, parking lot, parking lot lighting, a water well & septic system. The substantial completion date on this project is now May, 2013, due to unforseen weather which has impacted the project.
»» Schwartz Park - January 7 – May, 2013
Construction at Schwartz Park is set to begin the week of January 7th, 2013. The scope of work includes demolition of the playground, construction of new concrete sidewalk, a concrete plaza, playground and tot-lot, new entry signage, new entry fencing, new shade structure, parking lot improvements, site furniture, site grading and drainage, irrigation and tree planting.
»» Glenbrook Park – January 7 – Mid June, 2013
Construction at Glenbrook Park is set to begin the week of January 7th, 2013. The scope of work includes the demolition of the playground and walkways, construction of new concrete walkways, new playground, a new pavilion with picnic tables and barbeque pit, new ballfield lighting, and site lighting.
»» Sam Houston Park - January 7 – Fall 2013
Construction work at Sam Houston Park will begin the week of January 7, 2013, and is expected to last into July 2013. During construction, the majority of the park will be closed to visitors, although the Heritage Society Gallery and Historic Structure Museums will be open for tours. Scope of work includes: site demolition and selective tree removal; site paving, including concrete walks, a granite plaza, brick pavers, and a grass pave truck entry; new parking lots; entry signs; landscaping with turf establishment and irrigation; refurbishment and relocation of the mechanical system for an existing fountain; relocation of an existing cottage on site, including traffic closures; relocation of various art pieces on site, including off-site storage during construction; relocation of existing bandstand on site; site electrical work, including lighting, electrical outlets, and updated electrical service to some sites; procurement and installation of a prefabricated restroom building; site furnishing, including benches, trash receptacles, and a swing set; additional fencing, where necessary.
»» Brewster Park – February 25 – August 2013
Brewster Park will undergo renovation beginning February 25 through August 2013, depending on weather conditions. Scope of work includes: demolish and replace existing playground, construct new concrete playground enclosure, site grading, sidewalks, landscaping and irrigation.
»» Sagemont Park – February 25 – August 2013
Sagemont Park will undergo renovation beginning February 25 through August 2013, depending on weather conditions. Scope of work includes: new playground equipment and enclosure with sidewalk connection, site furnishings, site grading and construction of shade structure.
»» Westbury Park – February 25 – August 2013
Westbury Park will undergo renovation beginning February 25 through August 2013, depending on weather conditions. Scope of work includes: demolish and replace existing playground, construct new concrete playground enclosure, pavilion, site furnishings, site grading, sidewalks, landscaping and irrigation.
»» Sunnyside Park – March 26, 2013 – Until Further Notice
The scope of work includes demolition of existing foundation pads, installation of a new 8-foot wide concrete walking trail, access ramps, a trail head seat wall, detention for positive drainage, site furnishings, and associated landscape and irrigation. The new trail will connect Sunnyside Park and the Johnson Neighborhood Library. The construction duration for this project is 120 days.
We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
- To Report Emergencies in Parks
- To Report Wildfires in Parks
- To Request A Repair Needed in a Park
Parks & Park Facilities Permit Reservations:
Rainout & Message Phone Message Lines:
- Adult Sports Leagues Message Line: 832.395.7004
- Memorial Park Trail Update Line: 713.221.0499
Houston Parks & Recreation Department:
- Main Phone: 832.395.7000
- H.P.A.R.D. Division Phone Numbers More ...- Questions & Comments: firstname.lastname@example.org
Houston Parks & Recreation Department
2999 South Wayside
Houston, Texas 77023 Map ...
Public Information Requests (TPIA)
- Info on Texas Public Information Act Requests More ...
- HPARD TPIA Requests
Houston Parks & Recreation Department
2999 South Wayside
Houston, Texas 77023
Joe Turner, Director, Houston Parks & Recreation Department, is a native Houstonian. He attended the University of Houston, graduating with a Bachelor of Business Administration. He also holds an Executive Master of Business Administration from the Texas Woman's University.
»» NRPA Houston 2013 Congress & Exposition
»» NRPA Houston 2013 - Off Site Institutes Registration
Earn CEUs while getting a sneak peek of the most interesting natural areas, preserves, urban greenways and tourist attractions in Houston and surrounding areas.
»» NRPA Houston 2013 - Memorial Park Golf Tournament
The Houston Parks and Recreation Department invites all participants in the NRPA 2013 Congress and Exposition to join us for a round of golf on one of the best municipal golf courses in the country!
»» NRPA Houston 2013 - Fun Run/Walk at Hermann Park
Attention, all participants in the NRPA 2013 Congress and Exposition! Lace up your running shoes and join the Houston Parks and Recreation Department for a 5K Fun Run/Walk in beautiful, historic Hermann Park!
» Brock Park Golf Course - Mgd by HPARD
» Glenbrook Park Golf Course - Mgd by the Lopez Mgmt Group
» Gus Wortham Park Golf Course - Mgd by HPARD
» Hermann Park Golf Course - Mgd by BSL Golf Corporation
» Melrose Park Golf Course - Mgd by Walton Golf Mgmt Group
» Memorial Park Golf Course - Mgd by HPARD
» Sharpstown Park Golf Course - Mgd by HPARD
» Online Reservation System for HPARD Managed Courses
2013 Press Release
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|H.P.A.R.D. Photo Gallery||More ...|
The Houston Parks and Recreation Department operates 60 community centers across the city. Check out their scheduled activities and consider these locations for your next event.
Love Park Community Center
1000 West 12th Street 77008 - 713.867.0497
Meadowcreek Village Community Center
5333 Berry Creek 77017 - 713.946.9020
Hobart Taylor Community Center
8100 Kenton 77028 - 713.674.3959
Sharpstown Community Center
6600 Harbor Town 77036 - 713.988.5328
» Buffalo Bayou Partnership
» Friends of Woodland Park
» Heritage Society at Sam Houston Park
» Hermann Park Conservancy
» Houston Arboretum & Nature Center
» Houston Parks Board
» Memorial Park Conservancy
» Million Trees + Houston
» Partnering/Sponsorships With Parks
» Trees for Houston
» Willow Waterhole Greenspace Conservancy