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

More ...


Houston Zoo
For information on hours of operation for the Houston Zoo, please visit



Agnes Moffitt Park - “High Plains Drifter”
On December 13, 2016, "High Plains Drifter" will take up temporary residence in the parking lot of Agnes Moffitt Park while a permanent pad for the artwork is being built in the park. “High Plains Drifter” has been donated to the City of Houston by Two Allen Center Co., LLC, which is owned by Brookfield Property Partners. The artwork donation makes way for the renovation of Two Allen Center. Houston Arts Alliance reviewed the artwork and placement and made a recommendation for acceptance into the City of Houston Art Collection. The Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs and the Parks and Recreation Department note the special distinction of it being the first piece of Civic Art in City Council District A.

“High Plains Drifter” was created by Artist Peter Reginato in 1974 as part of a national competition arranged by the developers of the Allen Center in conjunction with the Houston Museum of Fine Arts. Art Critic Clement Greenberg selected a panel of six artists to produce a model of a sculpture for this competition. Reginato was chosen as the winner and was commissioned to make a large scale version of his sculpture. However, the scale of the work was beyond the capacity of his studio space, so the project was actually built in two pieces in Bennington, Vermont, by Bob Walcott. The sculpture measures approximately sixteen feet in height, thirteen feet in width, and twenty-five feet in depth and is made out of Corten steel. The pieces were then trucked in and the two pieces were welded together in front of the Allen Center Tower complex in early 1974.

Emancipation Park Opening Rescheduled
In recognition of the historical significance of Emancipation Park, the City’s celebration of the park’s redevelopment has been rescheduled to Juneteenth weekend 2017. There will be no event on November 12, 2016.

The park will open to the public in January 2017. The Emancipation Park Conservancy and the Houston Parks and Recreation Department will host a celebration of the park redevelopment with a ceremony and festivities on Sunday, June 18, 2017.

More ...


Winter / Spring Activities Catalog Available Now
H.P.A.R.D.’s 2016-2017 Winter / Spring Activities Guide and Class Catalog is available online now!

Avondale Promenade Park – 424 Westheimer
The Houston Parks and Recreation Department submitted a grant application to Texas Park and Wildlife Department on October 1, 2016, requesting $1,000,000 in grant assistance for the development of Avondale Promenade Park at 424 Westheimer. The 0.2292-acre (9,988 sf) property is located on lower Westheimer at Whitney Street in the Avondale neighborhood of the Montrose area. HPARD acquired the property in 2015 conserve open space in this area of high need for parks.

Bayou Greenways 2020
Bayou Greenways 2020 is a public private project being developed to connect green corridors with hike and bike trails along bayous in the greater Houston Area

Bethel Park
Houston City Council has not yet approved fees for reservations at Bethel Park, located at 801 Andrews Street. The Houston Parks and Recreation Department is not yet authorized to issue permits for this site.

Brock Park Golf Course - June 7, 2016 - Until Further Notice
Beginning Tuesday, June 7, 2016, the Brock Park Golf Course is closed until further notice. Recent weather conditions have damaged two bridges in the park and the course is closed indefinitely for repairs.

Register To Be A Summer Food Service Program Provider Site!
Since 1980, H.P.A.R.D. has sponsored the Summer Food Service Program for youth ages 1-18 at sites across the city.

Willow Waterhole Greenway- Levitt Pavilion Houston
Another major milestone was reached in the development of Levitt Pavilion at Willow Waterhole Greenway with City Council’s unanimous approval of an agreement between the City, Friends of Levitt Pavilion Houston, and the Mortimer and Mimi Levitt Foundation for the construction, operation and maintenance of the Levitt Pavilion.

The state-of-the-art Levitt Pavilion at Willow Waterhole Greenspace is expected to be completed in 2020 and will be the eighth national outdoor music venue created through the Mortimer and Mimi Levitt Foundation. The private family foundation was created in 1963 by Mortimer and Mimi Levitt to support the arts, culture and education. The Foundation’s goal is to “reflect the best of American city life by creating community and social interaction among people of all ages and backgrounds; empowering cities across America to reclaim green spaces and reinvigorate public spaces; and ensuring the performing arts are accessible to all through high quality, free concerts.” The Levitt Pavilion seeks to fulfill the foundation’s goal by creating a unique music venue at Willow Waterhole. For more information on Levitt Pavilion Houston visit For more information on the Mortimer and Mimi Levitt Foundation visit

More ...


Routine Maintenance / Repair and Improvement Projects

Brays Bayou Trail, south bank between Scott Street and the Tierwester Pedestrian Bridge - November 2015 - Until Further Notice
Brock Park Golf Course - June 7, 2016 -– Until Further Notice
Cambridge Village Park/Southwest Police Station - May 2016 - Fall 2017
DeZavala Park Community Center – December 19, 2016 – March 31, 2017
E.L. Crain Park - January 25, 2016 - Pavilion area closed - Fall 2016
Friendship Pavilion in Hermann Park - September 15, 2015 - Until Further Notice
Heights and White Oak Bayou Trails - February 27 – Until Further Notice
Keegan’s Bayou Trail - September 2016 - Until Further Notice
Lansdale Park - January 25, 2015 - Sprayground area under construction – Fall 2016
Lee and Joe Jamail Skatepark - April 4 - Spring 2017
Levy Park - January 2014 - Until Further Notice
Memorial Park Green Trail - January 29, 2016 - Until Further Notice
Municipal Golf – April 19, 2016
   Brock Park Golf Course is closed.
   Memorial Park is closed on Tuesdays.
   Sharpstown Park Golf Course is open as a par 3 course.
Tanglewood Park – July 15, 2016 - Winter 2017, depending on weather conditions
Tranquillity Park Fountain- November 9, 2016 – January 2017

More ...


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


These facilities and park systems are not operated by the Houston Parks and Recreation Department. We provide this contact information as a public service.

» Alkek Velodrome
» Discovery Green
» Gerald D. Hines Waterwall Park
» Harris County Precinct One Park System
» Harris County Precinct Two Park System
» Harris County Precinct Three Park System
» Harris County Precinct Four Park System
» Heritage Society at Sam Houston Park
» Houston Museum of Natural Science
» Houston Zoo
» Market Square
» Miller Outdoor Theatre


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