About Us - Parks and Recreation
To provide and preserve quality parks and recreation opportunities for all.
A quality park system that meets the community's need for recreation and learning opportunities to benefit health and well-being.
A Little About Us
Our highest priority is to meet the Mayor's goal of advancing the quality of life in Tampa's neighborhoods by delivering consistent services; maintaining the safety and appearance of city parks and recreation facilities; and instilling community pride.
Our parks and facilities feature amenities to suit all interests including athletic fields and courts; arts, performance and event spaces; fitness and wellness opportunities; marine and waterfront areas; natural and open spaces; playgrounds and picnic shelters; just to name a few.
Awards & Recognition
2018 National Gold Medal Award Finalist
The American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration (AAPRA), in partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), is pleased to announce the City of Tampa Parks and Recreation Department as a finalist for the 2018 National Gold Medal Awards for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management. Founded in 1965, the Gold Medal Awards program honors communities in the U.S. that demonstrate excellence in parks and recreation through long-range planning, resource management, volunteerism, environmental stewardship, program development, professional development and agency recognition. Applications are separated into seven classes, with five classes based on population, one class for armed forces recreation and one class for state park systems awarded on odd-numbered years.
On November 2, 2011, the City of Tampa Parks and Recreation Department was recognized for excellence in the field of parks and recreation management by becoming the 100th agency in the country currently holding national accreditation from the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA). In October 2016, we were re-accredited as one of the best agencies in the nation. This national recognition has been awarded to fewer than 160 agencies in the country!
Accreditation is the result of an extensive review by CAPRA. Commission members visited and assessed the Department's parks and program, and showed how we comply with 151 Commission standards. This recognition means that your Parks and Recreation Department has neighborhood parks that are well-run, and recreation programs that satisfy residents' needs and interests.
2018 People's Choice Award Winner
The Tampa Riverwalk has earned the designation "Great Places in America: People's Choice" from the American Planning Association.
The Riverwalk has transformed the city and brought a valuable public space to the Tampa community. The vision of Tampa Riverwalk originated in the 1970s and has evolved through different plans and phases, ultimately taking six mayors and 40 years to complete.
The most recent development united the formerly disjointed segments of the path to create a single linear park along the Hillsborough River through the heart of downtown. As more people move to and visit Tampa’s urban core, the Riverwalk provides opportunities for leisurely strolling, biking, and visiting the city’s cultural attractions.
- American Planning Association
2016 Excellence in Innovative Programming Award
NRPA National Awards are presented to individuals and agencies to honor their efforts — both professional and personal — in the field of parks and recreation. Recipients are selected by the Awards & Scholarship Committee and are chosen for excellence in a variety of topics, including professional and voluntary service, programming, leadership, research and public outreach.
Our department received an award for Excellence in Innovative Programming which highlighted two of NRPA's three pillars of impacting communities.
Tree-Mendous Tampa Free Tree Program (Conservation) has planted close to 3,000 trees, helping to renew the urban forest of our city and provide sustainability to the area.
Tampa's Stay and Play Program (Social Equity) has provided 37,000 teens with a meal and safe place to participate in various activities and leagues.
2016 Jan Abell Award for Outstanding Contribution in the Historic Preservation Category
Jan Abell was a local, passionate preservationist who successfully saved some of Tampa's and Florida's important buildings. This particular award is given out rarely and always to a preserved building.
Perry Harvey, Sr Park is the first non-preserved building to win the award. This park is literally a colorful, engaging, outdoor historical treasure celebrating the significant local heritage and the cultural fabric of the neighborhood it serves.
2016 Urban Excellence - Landmark Development Project Award
We are honored that the Tampa Downtown Partnership recognized Perry Harvey, Sr Park as an iconic space that serves as a magnet to attract people to Downtown by improving the physical environment or by enhancing the economic, cultural or social well-being of the area.