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Houston elects longtime veteran to oversee blooming parks and recreation department

Houston elects veteran to oversee blooming parks and rec department

Kenneth Allen Houston Parks and Recreation Department
Kenneth Allen is a 29-year veteran of city government. Photo courtesy of the City of Houston

A longtime Houstonian and veteran of local government is the new face of the city’s blooming parks and recreation and department.

Kenneth Allen is the new director of the Houston Parks and Recreation Department. Houston City Council confirmed Allen on September 1, per an announcement. Allen was named interim director in December and previously worked as the Parks Department’s assistant director/recreation and wellness. 

Allen will oversee 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 some 700 full-time and seasonal employees. 

He has worked with the parks and rec department for 29 years and is a graduate of Madison High School.

“I am honored to serve in this position to guide Houston’s park system,” said Allen in a statement. “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.” 

Mayor Sylvester Turner praised his veteran leader. “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 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.”

CultureMap wishes the new director well, and hopes a fun new show on he and his charming department is in the works.

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