Impacting Our Community
The National Recreation and Parks Association’s Three Pillars — Conservation, Health and Wellness, and Social Equity — are shared values for Allen Parks and Recreation. Our department works to positively impact the Allen community in each of these areas.
Conservation and environmental stewardship are top departmental priorities.
- Earned the National Arbor Day Foundation’s Tree City USA designation.
- $49,500 solid waste implementation grant from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) to initiate recycling in Allen Station Park
- $35,685 grant from TCEQ to initiate recycling at Allen Event Center
- $5,000 Lowes/Keep America Beautiful grant for the purchase/installation of a greenhouse
- $1.3 million from local sales tax revenue to fund artificial turf installation, with significant impact on reducing water consumption
- The department’s largest event, the Market Street Allen USA Celebration is on the verge of becoming one of the largest zero waste events in the state
Bringing community partners together to form the Alliance for a Healthier Allen, Allen Parks and Recreation contributes to health and wellness efforts. Working alongside Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, the Allen Independent School District, Allen Community Outreach and Keep Allen Beautiful, Allen Parks and Recreation has helped launch many youth-focused initiatives: Motivate to Move, Bike Rodeo, Walk to School Day, Bike to School Day, Earth Fest, Eagle Run and Walk with a Doc.
Allen Parks and Recreation has also focused on promoting health and wellness for adult and seniors through its senior center’s diverse offerings. In 2013, Hillside Wellness Park opened, which is Allen’s first park uniquely geared toward adult exercise and recreation and is accessible to all.
For more information and resources relating to Health and Wellness, please also see:
Allen Parks and Recreation offers a number of special programs and financial assistance and has brought outreach programs directly into under-served communities.
Allen Parks and Recreation offers Special Needs and Adapted Programming (SNAP), including monthly dances and adapted aquatics. In addition, financial assistance is offered to Allen residents through the Citizen Assistance for Recreational Experiences (C.A.R.E.) program. Financial assistance is available for recreational programs, classes and memberships offered at Joe Farmer Recreation Center, Don Rodenbaugh Natatorium, The Edge Visitor Center, Senior Recreation Center and athletic programs. A benefit concert hosted in 2011 raised more than $30,000 for the program. To learn more about the program, qualification details,and how to donate, please call 214.509.4700.
Outreach into under-served communities, offering free swimming lessons in the pools of area apartment complexes began in 2013, protecting young families from drowning deaths. Additionally, Parks and Recreation has coordinated through Allen Senior Recreation Center the award-winning volunteer literacy effort, Read to Reed.
For more information and resources relating to Social Equity, please also see:
The long-range planning of Allen Parks and Recreation is guided by a “family of plans” that are each unique in focus and purpose. The plan that most directly influences the success of the Department’s long-range planning is the Parks, Recreation and Open Space Master Plan.
As our community has grown, Allen Parks and Recreation has worked to continually expand and improve the parks and recreation facilities and opportunities for our residents. Twenty years ago, Allen had no recreation centers and less than 600 acres of parks. Today, we have over 1,000 acres of parks, more than 40 miles of hiking and nature trails and 5 recreation facilities. These have been delivered at the request of Allen citizens who support an enhanced quality of life.
The City of Allen has embraced new strategies to continue this growth. While it would have been easy to tread water and wait for the economy to pick up or to rely on more traditional tax supported revenue for funding and operation of these facilities, attention has turned to new models including developing public/private partnerships to improve the community.
In a public/private partnership, the resources of both the City and private industry are combined. While these can work in different ways, the City of Allen has found success leasing land with a developer paying the City rent to build and then manage a facility on City property. This is accomplished at no cost to the City.
The project between Blue Sky Sports and the City of Allen is one example: Blue Sky Sports Center is a great facility for indoor soccer and also houses the Allen Sports Association, which offers indoor football and volleyball in the facility.
Another public/private partnership between the City and America’s Cable Park Group resulted in the new wakeboard park, Hydrous at Allen Station Park. Having been named Cable Wakeboard Park of the Year, the park has proven to be an exciting amenity that perfectly complements the adjacent skate park, The Edge at Allen Station Park.
Allen Parks and Recreation has accomplished a great deal in partnering with the private sector to grow the array of recreational opportunities in Allen. With the vision of City leadership and the guidance of City Council, new and innovative development continues.