Houston Parks and Recreation Department



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.”

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Parks Master Plan


»» H.P.A.R.D. Parks Master Plan

Thank you for participating in the Online Parks Master Plan Survey Phase II. Survey results will be presented at public meetings held in fall 2014. Please continue to check back on this website for public meeting notices and let us know if you have any questions in regard to this effort by emailing at: masterplan@houstontx.gov.

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H.P.A.R.D. Latest News


»» Recreation Catalog Available Now
H.P.A.R.D.’s Fall 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!

Printable pdf





»» City of Houston Parks – Smoke Free Zones
The Houston Parks and Recreation Department has announced plans to make all City of Houston Parks Smoke Free Zones. This policy takes effect on September 2, 2014 and applies to all interior and exterior park/facilities operated by the Houston Parks and Recreation Department. This rule is enacted under Ordinance #2006-1054 Sec. 21-243. Click to see presentations shown to City Council on July 23, 2014, by H.P.A.R.D., the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Houston Public Library.

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»» Bayou Greenways 2020
Bayou Greenways 2020 is a public private project designed to develop connected green corridors with hike and bike trails along bayous in the greater Houston Area. For more information on the project visit: http://houstonparksboard.org/bgi/2020/




»» Buffalo Bayou Developments
For the latest on events and renovations going on in Buffalo Bayou Park, check out the latest news from the Buffalo Bayou Partnership!

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»» Answering the Call to Serve - The Heritage Society Museum Gallery August 13 - November 15
Visit this free showing of artifacts from Memorial Park’s past, now at the Heritage Society Museum Gallery at Sam Houston Park. The exhibit explores Memorial Park’s past as the World War I-era Camp Logan, compiled through the efforts of local archaeologists.

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»» Skatestock III - October 18, 2014
Peace, love, and skateboards come together with skate legends, artists, and live music at Skatestock III, Saturday, October 18, from 1:00 – 5:00 p.m. This FREE event is at the Lee & Joe Jamail Skatepark.

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»» Free Golf Clinics Now – October 25, 2014
Whether you are a novice golfer, an expert, or somewhere in between, you may develop new skills by taking part in a FREE golf clinic at an H.P.A.R.D. golf course near you! Register early, because space is limited!

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»» 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 August 13, 2012, to accommodate 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.

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»» Art In Parks Online
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.

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»» 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.

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»» Volunteer With H.P.A.R.D.!
The Houston Parks and Recreation Department (H.P.A.R.D.) is seeking volunteers (groups of 5 at one time) to wash transportation vans one Saturday morning (8:30am – 11:30am) a month from May through November. The vans are used to transport youth and seniors to nature, sporting, and community events. All supplies are provided. Volunteers are asked to sign a volunteer waiver form and are asked to wear comfortable clothing and bring their own rain boots. The van wash takes place at 6200 Wheeler Street, Houston 77023. If your group of 5 is interested in volunteering for one month or more, please email H.P.A.R.D.’s Volunteer Coordinator at oneika.shelby@houstontx.gov. For more information, please visit http://www.houstontx.gov/parks/volunteer.html.


Public Meetings


Capital Improvement Plan Public Meetings
The City of Houston conducts public meetings on the City's Annual Capital Improvement Plan in each council district. Since 1984, the City has held public meetings to obtain citizen input before preparation of the capital Improvement Plan. These meetings provide citizens the opportunity to participate in the capital Improvement Plan process by contributing comments and suggestions about needed services and improvements.

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Closed For Repair / Construction

Routine Maintenance / Repair & Improvement Projects

»» Shady Lane Park - September 2, 2014 – September 16, 2014
The Shady Lane Park water sprayground will be closed for two weeks for repairs. It is expected to reopen following the completion of those repairs barring any unforeseen circumstances.

»» Memorial Park / Hogg Sanctuary – Summer 2014 – Fall 2014
The bayou bridge that serves as the public entrance to Bayou Bend is currently closed for repairs. The bridge will reopen in the fall of 2014. For information on how to access Bayou Bend please visit the MFAH website at http://www.mfah.org/visit/bayou-bend-collection-and-gardens/?source-gg0513&gclid=CMGR_Y2D178CFQIT7Aodp0IAqA

»» Eleanor Tinsley Park Parking Lot - August 19, 2013 – Spring 2014
The parking lot in Eleanor Tinsley Park will be closed for demolition and reconstruction as part of the renovation of Buffalo Bayou Park. Construction is expected to be completed in Spring 2014.

»» 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.

»» Anderson Park Tennis Court Lights/Parking Lot – August 6 – September 15, 2014
The Anderson Park Tennis Court Lights are currently out of service and are under repair. During this repair a portion of the parking lot near the first base side of the field close to the fence will also be closed. Repairs for both areas are expected to be completed by mid-September.

»» Meadowcreek Park Pavilion – August 5, 2014 - Until Further Notice
The Meadowcreek Park Pavilion is closed for repairs until further notice. The structure is being evaluated by engineers to determine what repairs are needed and the time line to complete those repairs. We are sorry for your inconvenience.

»» Levy Park – January 2014 – Spring 2015
Levy Park is currently under major renovation. The dog park being temporarily relocated to the Levy Park ballfield.The new Levy Park Dog Park is scheduled for completion in Spring 2015. For more information, call 713.524.8000 or visit www.upperkirbydistrict.org.

»» Mecom Rockwell Fountain – September 9, 2013 – Until Further Notice
The Mecom Rockwell Fountain at Hermann Park is out of service due to mechanical issues until further notice.

»» Tranquillity Park Fountain – September 9, 2013 – Until Further Notice
Due to mechanical repairs, the Tranquillity Park fountain basin has been drained and the tall “stacks” will not be operational for the duration of the project.

»» Houston Garden Center - August 1, 2013 - Fall 2014
Beginning August 1, 2013, the Houston Garden Center will close for renovation. Completion of the project is expected to take place in Fall 2014.

Capital Improvement Projects

»» Memorial Park Running Trails Center – September 2013 – August 2014
The Memorial Park Running Trails Center is currently under construction. With over 4,400 square feet, it will be located at 7575 N. Picnic Lane, next to the Living Bridge, offering access to all parts of Memorial Park. It is planned for the use of runners and other trail users with the intent to take pressure off the congestion around the Tennis Center. It will include lockers and showers, office space for the Memorial Park Conservancy and Houston Police Department, a large reception hall, meeting room, and vending area.

»» Keith-Wiess Park – September 23, 2013 – October 2014
Construction will begin on Monday, September 13, at Keith-Wiess Park. The scope of work includes a new parking lot with 135 parking spaces, sidewalks, site lighting, electrical services, an underground irrigation storage tank with booster pump and lines, detention basin, picnic tables, bbq grills, pavilions restoration, site grading and associated landscape and irrigation for three soccer fields. Soccer field lighting installation will begin in September under a separate contract.

»» Hermann Square – May 7, 2014 - Fall 2014
Hermann Square will be closed to the public for the restoration and upgrade of the fountain mechanical system and plumbing, reflection pond basin repair, installation of reflection pond lighting, installation of site lighting, landscape and irrigation restoration.

»» Guadalupe Park is closed - May 7, 2014 – May 2015
Guadalupe Park is being renovated and will be closed during construction. The renovation of Guadalupe Plaza Park is part of the scope of work for TIGER Project #6 – East Downtown. This project will construct 10.4 miles of on-street bikeways; 11.2 miles of sidewalks; 6.15 miles of pedestrian enhancements; 2.1 miles of shared use paths; replacement of segments of asphalt trails which are in disrepair with new concrete trail; two pocket parks; new trailhead park along Buffalo Bayou and renovation to Guadalupe Plaza Park. The scope of work will include dual use sidewalks, ramps, seat walls, mid-block pedestrian crossings, drinking fountains, street trees, wayfinding signage, benches, bike racks, waste receptacles and pedestrian lighting. AIA Engineers, LTD is the principle designer of the project, with the SWA Group providing the Landscape Architectural design for the Plaza. The contractor is R. Miranda Trucking and Construction, LLC. The Greater East End Management District will provide Construction Management services during the project’s construction. Construction on the park began on May 27, 2014.

Spotlight on Community Centers

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.

Charlton Park Community Center
8200 Park Place 77017 - 713.645.3589

Montie Beach Community Center
915 Northwood 77009 - 713.864.6820
Platou Community Center
11655 Chimney Rock 77053 - 713.726.7107
Tuffly Park Community Center
3200 Russell 77026 - 713.674.2355

Park Partners & Sponsorships

» Buffalo Bayou Partnership
» Friends of Lee LeClear Tennis Center
» Friends of Emancipation Park
» Friends of Mary Ann Francklow Park
» Friends of Mandel Park
» Friends of Woodland Park
» 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

Other Venues of Interest

» 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

Other City Resources

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

Emergency Contact
Contact 9-1-1:

- To Report Emergencies in Parks
- To Report Wildfires in Parks

Contact 3-1-1:

- To Request A Repair Needed in a Park

Parks & Park Facilities Permit Reservations:

 - 832.394.8804 (Ballfield Reservations)
 - 832.394.8805 (Park Permits)                               More ...
                                                            Online Registration

Rainout & 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:              askparks@houstontx.gov

Mailing Address:

  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

  Fax: 832.395.7182

  Email:                                  hpardrecords@houstontx.gov

About the Director
Director Turner


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.

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Youth Golf Program

» First Tee at FM Law Park Golf Course

H.P.A.R.D. Calendar of Events