Houston elects veterans to supervise thriving parks and leisure departments

A longtime Houstonian and local government veteran is the new face of the city’s thriving parks, recreation and departments.

Kenneth Allen is the new director of the Houston Parks and Recreation Department. Houston City Council confirmed Allen in an announcement on Sept. 1. Allen was named interim director in December and previously served as the park division’s deputy director / recreation and wellness.

Allen will oversee the city’s 380 parks, 60 community centers, 163 miles of hiking trails, urban forests, recreational programs and activities, budget and facility management, and a staff of approximately 700 full-time and seasonal workers.

He has been with the Parks and Recreation Department for 29 years and is a graduate of Madison High School.

“I am honored to lead the Houston parking system in this position,” Allen said in a statement. “I will work tirelessly to make our parks inviting and well-kept, not just for our signature parks, but for everyone. I would also like to thank Mayor Turner for his continued trust in me in realizing his vision for this department. I look forward to continuing my work with the mayor’s administration, city council and all partners to improve the quality of life for all residents who attend HPARD facilities and programs. ”

Mayor Sylvester Turner praised his veteran leader. “Kenneth has done an excellent job at HPARD over the past few months and shares my vision of building strong neighborhood parks that strengthen connections with communities,” said Turner. “I look forward to him continuing to lead the parks team and achieve the broad goals and initiatives I have created to improve Houston neighborhood parks.”

CultureMap wishes the new director all the best and hopes a fun new show about him and his charming department is in the works.

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