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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Parks Master Plan

The Parks Master Plan is revisited every 5 - 7 years to evaluate and make recommendations based on existing conditions, data analysis, and public input. The Draft 2015 Parks Master Plan proposal is the result of a two year assessment of the city by individual Park Sector developed through the Parks and Open Space Ordinance. The Ordinance divided the City of Houston (COH) into 21 Park Sectors. The 21 Park Sectors were reviewed and assessed separately to create the individual Park Sector plans which comprise the complete 2015 Parks Master Plan. To determine your  individual Park Sector, please go to, select the Layers function, and select Park Sectors.

The next steps in the Parks Master Plan process include:

  • Houston City Council RCA Agenda Item #7 – September 30, 2015

Copies of the Park Master Plan presentation and the individual park sector plans are available for download at the links below.

Individual Park Sector Plan please Click Here.

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 Department will accept public comments regarding the proposed changes to Chapter 32 for the next 30 days (October 1, 2015 – October 30, 2015). Citizens can view the Power Point presentation and redlined Copy of Chapter 32 by clicking on the links below. Comments regarding the proposal can be sent by email to or by surface mail to:

                Houston Parks and Recreation Department
                Director - Chapter 32
                2999 South Wayside
                Houston, Texas 77023


Fall Recreation Catalog Available Now
Art In Parks Online
Bayou Greenways 2020
Bayou Preservation Association – Memorial Park Demonstration Project
Buffalo Bayou Park Developments
Buffalo Bayou Park Trail Closed
DeZavala Park Pool Closed
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

Buffalo Bayou Park Trail Closed - August 13, 2012 - Until Further Notice
Friendship Pavilion in Hermann Park – September 15, 2015 - Until Further Notice
Grady Park Renovation - August 2015 – March 2016
Levy Park – January 2014 - Spring 2015
Schweppe Park Playground Improvements - April – November 2015
Tranquillity Park Fountain - September 9, 2013 - Until Further Notice

Capital Improvement Projects

Guadalupe Park - May 7, 2014 – September 2015

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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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