Mayor's Office Press Release

Mayor Sylvester Turner Announces Kenneth Allen as Director of the Houston Parks and Recreation Department

Kenneth AllenSeptember 1, 2021 -- Mayor Sylvester Turner has named Kenneth Allen as Director of the Houston Parks and Recreation Department (HPARD). Houston City Council voted to confirm the appointment this morning. In December, Mr. Allen was named interim director and previously worked as the Parks Department’s Assistant Director/Recreation and Wellness.

“Kenneth has done an exceptional job at HPARD during the past several months, and he shares my vision of building strong neighborhood parks that strengthen connections with communities,” said Mayor Turner. “I look forward to seeing him continuing to lead the Parks team and accomplishing the comprehensive goals and initiatives I created to improve Houston’s neighborhood parks.”

As Director of the Parks and Recreation Department, Mr. Allen is responsible for overseeing the stewardship of the City’s 380 parks, 60 community centers, 163 miles of trails, urban forests, recreational programming and activities, budget and facilities management, and a staff of about 700 full-time and seasonal employees.

“I am honored to serve in this position to guide Houston’s park system,” said Allen, Director, Houston Parks and Recreation Department. “I will work tirelessly to make our parks inviting and well maintained, not just for our signature parks, but for all of them. I also want to thank Mayor Turner for his continued faith in me to fulfill his vision for this department. I look forward to continuing my work with the Mayor’s Administration, City Council, and all partners to enhance the quality of life for all residents that frequent HPARD facilities and programs.”

Mr. Allen is a graduate of Houston Madison High School and Indiana University and studied at Clemson University. He has worked for the Houston Parks and Recreation Department for 29 years. For more information, visit