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!
»» 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.
As wildflowers bloom in our area, you will see bright bursts of color around town that result from the labor of volunteers who spread seed as part of last falls Lady Bird Johnson Tribute Wildflower Planting.
»» Bike Share
Launched in May 2012, Houstons Bike Share Program has expanded for a total of 21 stations, including ones in Market Square, Hermann Square, and the Houston Zoo. Additional stations are being planned for the future.
»» Blue Trees
Over the weekend of March 22 24, artist Konstantin Dimopoulos & volunteers with the Houston Arts Alliance painted tree trunks in Gragg Park & the cloverleaf intersection of Memorial Drive & Waugh Drive with biologically safe, water-based blue mineral pigments. This bright splash of color brings awareness to the importance trees play in our environment before slowly reverting to their natural look.
»» 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!
»» Reserve LHWP Lakeside Cabins
Make your reservation now for woodland & lakeside cabins & campsites at Lake Houston Wilderness Park. Choose from a variety of amenities to enjoy an overnight stay in a woodland paradise a few minutes from the city! Call 281.354.6881 or go online for more information.
»» New Buffalo Bayou Park Microsite Keeps You informed
BuffaloBayouPark.org is a new microsite designed to keep you informed on activity and construction along Buffalo Bayou between Shepherd and Sabine. Visit the site to learn more about the transformation of one of Houston's favorite bayou parklands, view the construction timeline and get the most up-to-date news easily from the web or your phone!
»» Swim Season Splash Off - May 25, 2013
Join us at Memorial Park Pool (6402 Arnot Street) for a Swim Season Splash off from 11:00 am 2:00 pm. Sign up for swim classes and enjoy the first day of the summer swim season!
»» Olivewood Cemetery Exhibit May 25, 2013
The Heritage Society presents Olivewood Cemetery: Past, Present, Future, an exhibition exploring the cultural significance of the first African-American cemetery in Houston. The exhibition will be on display at the Heritage Society Museum, 1100 Bagby Street at the edge of Sam Houston Park.
»» Breakfast Yoga in Hermann Park May 26, 2013
Enjoy yoga and a beautiful view! The Breakfast Yoga Club of Houston will host a yoga class overlooking McGovern Lake in Hermann Park, 9:00 a.m., Sunday, May 26. FREE and open to the public.
Routine Maintenance / Repair & Improvement Projects
»» Mason Park Community Center Closed May 28 June 2, 2013
The Mason Park Community Center will be closed for refinishing of the gym floor from May 28 Jun 2, 2013.
»» Cole Creek Park May 2 June 7, 2013
Tennis court lights are out of service until further notice. Repairs are underway and service should be restored by June 7, 2013, barring unforeseen weather conditions.
»» Tidwell Park May 2 June 14, 2013
Ball field and tennis court lights are out of service until further notice. Repairs are underway and service should be restored by June 14, 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.
»» Memorial Park Forestry Management Drought Mitigation - June 26, 2012 Until Further Notice
The Memorial Park Conservancy is currently working to clear underbrush & removal of timber from the southside of Memorial Park (South of Memorial Drive). Please be aware that all natural trail areas including Purple, Blue, Red, Orange, and Yellow are closed to the public until this work is completed. Pay attention to signage posted in work area and avoid the use of these trails.
»» Memorial Park Green Trail - June 26, 2012 Until Further Notice
Please be aware that the Green Trail is currently closed to the public due to a washout. The trail will be closed until work can be done to repair the trail.
»» 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
»» Dow Park October 2, 2012 May, 2013
The environmental abatement and selective demolition of the basketball pavilion is completed. The area will continue to be closed to the public by perimeter fencing. The pavilion renovation project is estimated to be complete in May.
»» 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 July, 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:
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
|Media Room||More ...|
|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.
Lincoln Park Community Center
979 Grenshaw 77007 - 281.445.1617
Mason Park Community Center
541 South 75th Street 77023 - 713.928.7055
Melrose Park Community Center
1001 Canino 77076 - 281.447.0514
Platou Park Community Center
11655 Chimney Rock 77053 - 713.726.7107
» 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