Parks Director

Lisa JohnsonLisa Johnson, Interim Director, Houston Parks and Recreation Department, is a graduate of Texas A & M University and has completed post-graduate training programs at Southwest Texas State University, the National Park Planning and Maintenance Safety School and the National Playground Safety Institute.  She was appointed by Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner on March 17, 2017, with her term beginning on April 1, 2017. Ms. Johnson has worked as a parks and recreation professional in the public parks arena for 31 years.

Waco, Texas
She began her career in 1984 with the City of Waco, Texas as a Park Planner. In Waco, her responsibilities included the planning and implementation of all park development projects, as well as numerous city-wide initiatives. Some key accomplishments include: redevelopment projects in Cameron Park and the Cameron Park Zoo, the revitalization of the City downtown core and the Brazos River Corridor, working with Neighborhood Associations on playground and park projects, the coordination of Parks and Recreation Comprehensive Plans, the development of the Waco Urbanized Area Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan, and work on land acquisition at the confluence of the Bosque & Brazos River through Trust for Public Lands.

Houston, Texas
In 2002, she joined the Houston Parks and Recreation Department as a Project Manager to serve as the parks department liaison with the General Services Department for park development projects (from the planning phase through the design and construction phases of those projects.) Key accomplishments included: a department system-wide maintenance management study and the  oversite of the development of numerous park projects including the redevelopment of Tony Marron Park, the creation of the Keith-Wiess Park Regional Detention and Park Development, the development of the Sims Bayou Nature Park & Greenways/Stuart Park, and the redevelopment of Settegast Park.

In 2006, in order to improve the completion rate of parks capital the Project Management Section of the parks department was transferred to the General Services Department. Ms. Johnson continued to work hand in hand with Joe Turner (Parks Director from 2004-2017) to implement multi-million dollar Capital Programs throughout the department’s park system. Projects undertaken during this time included: the renovation of Bethel Park, Gragg Park, and Emancipation Park; the acquisition and development of Lake Houston Wilderness Park; the construction of the Memorial Park Living Bridge, the Memorial Park Alkek Tennis Center Plaza, and the Memorial Park Running Trail Center (recently renamed the Roy H. Cullen Running Trails Center),  and many neighborhood park projects, including development and construction of the department’s five Playgrounds Without Limits; the extensive renovation of Shady Lane Park; and redevelopment or addition of 36 new parks in the parks system.

Lisa is a member of the National Recreation & Parks Association, Texas Recreation & Park Society, The Architecture Center Houston Foundation and the Greater Gulf Coast Parks and Recreation Directors Association.