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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The Houston Parks and Recreation Department Turns 100 in 2016

This is a big year for employees and associates of the Houston Parks and Recreation Department. We are celebrating the 100th anniversary of the creation of our department by city council and we hope you will join us as we celebrate 100 years of service to Houstonians. These events will be part of the festivities:

Houston Parks 100 Golf Party - February 18, 2016 at Memorial Park
Please join us Thursday, February 18, 2016, as we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Houston Parks and Recreation Department with the golf event that has been 100 years in the making.

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100 Year Park Anniversary Celebration Grand Opening of Gragg Park - May 21, 2016 - at Gragg Park
The Gragg Park Grand Opening will be a public event held in celebration of the 100 Year Anniversary of Houston’s park system.
The scope of work for the Gragg Park renovation includes the construction of parking, entry signage, expansion of existing parking, trail work, playground, sportsfield, sportsfield and site lighting, site furnishing, fencing, earthwork, landscaping and irrigation. Project is expected to be completed in the Spring of 2016 barring any unforeseen weather conditions. (Gragg Park Illustrative Plan)

Valentine Contest Image Houston Parks 100 Valentine’s Day Sweetheart Prize Package – This week, celebrate 100 years of Houston parks with your sweetheart at Hermann Park! One of the most beautiful and best-loved parks in the Houston Parks and Recreation Department, Hermann Park was created in 1914. Today, the Hermann Park Conservancy, in partnership with the Houston Parks and Recreation Department, is dedicated to the stewardship and improvement of the park. Be a part of HPARD’s 100 year celebration and win  Hermann Park Conservancy t-shirts and a fun day at the park with paddle boating and rides on the Hermann Park Railroad, courtesy of the Hermann Park Conservancy! ... To Enter ...  

Director Joe Turner and Andrea White discuss the 100th Anniversary of H.P.A.R.D. on the Great Day Houston show.

Chapter 32 - Parks and Recreation Proposed Ordinance Updates

Changes to the City of Houston Municipal Code Chapter 32, which governs the Parks and Recreation Department, are currently being proposed. On September 30, 2015, the Department presented the proposed changes to the City Council Quality of Life Committee.


The Houston Parks and Recreation Department Celebrates Its 100th Anniversary!
Created by city council in March 1916, the Houston Parks and Recreation Department has served the citizens of Houston for 100 years. These events will be part of the centennial festivities:
- Thursday, February 18, 2016 – Caddy Hack Golf Tournament at Memorial Park
- May 14, 2016 – Reopening of the renovated Gragg Park, 2999 S. Wayside Drive

Buffalo Bayou Access at Woodway is now open! Hours: November to March: 7am - Dusk; April to October, 7am - 7pm. For more information visit:

Glenbrook Golf Course is closed and will reopen February 29, 2016, operated by the Houston Parks and Recreation Department.

Winter/Spring Activities Catalog Available Now
Art In Parks Online
Bayou Greenways 2020
Bayou Preservation Association – Memorial Park Demonstration Project
Enjoy a visit to Lake Houston Wilderness Park
Memorial Park Master Plan
Seymour Lieberman Trail Refurbishment
Smoking Ban in City of Houston Parks - Becomes effective September 2, 2014.

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Routine Maintenance / Repair and Improvement Projects

Agnes Moffitt Park Playground Improvements - October 2015 - January 2016
Braeburn Glen Park - October 2015 - Spring 2016
Brays Bayou Trail, south bank between Scott Street and the Tierwester Pedestrian Bridge - November 2015 - Until Further Notice
E.L. Crain Park - January 25, 2016 - Until Further Notice
Freed Park Community Center - February 8 – mid-April 2016
Friendship Pavilion in Hermann Park - September 15, 2015 - Until Further Notice
Gragg Park - January 11, 2016 – Spring 2016
Grady Park Renovation - August 2015 - March 2016
Hermann Park Railroad - January 27 – January 28, 2016, depending on weather conditions
Intermittent closure of sections of White Oak Bayou Trail and Hogg Park due to construction on I-45 - January 2016 - June 2017
Jaycee Park – February 5, 2016 – February 12, 2016
Jaycee Park Ball Fields - January 7, 2016 - Mid-March 2016, depending on weather conditions
Lansdale Park - January 25, 2015 - Until Further Notice
Levy Park - January 2014 - Until Further Notice
Memorial Park Aquatic Center - October 28, 2015 - Until Further Notice
Memorial Park Green Trail - January 29, 2016 - Until Further Notice
Metropolitan Multi-Service Center - January 11, 2016 – Summer 2016
Metropolitan Multi-Service Center Swimming Pool - January 11, 2016 - February 12, 2016
Schweppe Park Playground Improvements - April 2015 - End of 2015, Depending on Weather
Tranquillity Park Fountain - September 9, 2013 - Until Further Notice
Playground Fall Surface Replacements - November 2015 through February 2016
Hill (E.P.) Park
Greenwood Park
Gutierrez (Siro) Park
Ingrando Park
Wildheather Park - January 25, 2016 – Summer 2016, depending on weather conditions
Wright Bembry Park - January 11, 2016 – Summer 2016, depending on weather conditions

Capital Improvement Projects

Guadalupe Park - May 7, 2014 - Until Further Notice

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

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» 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

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

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