The Cultural Landscape Foundation presented the 2016 Stewardship Excellence Award to Joe Turner, Director, Houston Parks and Recreation Department, during their Leading with Landscape II: The Houston Transformation conference on March 11, 2016. The award was given in recognition of leadership during Turner's tenure as the Houston Parks and Recreation Department's director.
The award highlighted Turner's active leadership role in developing one of the largest American park systems into an agency recognized by the National Recreation and Park Association with its best practices C.A.P.R.A. accreditation designation.
"I am honored to accept this award," said Joe Turner, Director, Houston Parks and Recreation Department. "The entire department has worked hard not only to reach accreditation but to serve as stewards for the parks and greenspaces we maintain for park users who visit our system."
As parks director, Turner has worked to develop public-private partnerships across the city.
"We continue to work with our conservancies to develop and manage some of Houston's most recognized and iconic parks, including Hermann, Memorial, Buffalo Bayou and Sam Houston Park," Turner continued. "At the same time, we are working with state and county entities at parks like Keith-Wiess Park, Finnigan Park and Lake Houston Wilderness Park."
The aim of the award is to spotlight stewardship stories that will educate and inspire future generations of cultural landscape stewards.
Joe Turner was appointed director of the Houston Parks and Recreation Department in 2004. He has degrees from the University of Houston and Texas Women's University. He is a board member of the National Recreation and Park Association and is a member of: the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration; the Texas Recreation and Park Society (T.R.A.P.S.); the Greater Gulf Coast Parks and Recreation Director's Association; the Heritage Society; Hermann Park Conservancy; Memorial Park Conservancy; Buffalo Bayou Partnership; Trees for Houston; and the Houston Parks Board.
The Houston Parks and Recreation Department (H.P.A.R.D.) stewards and manages over 37,859 acres of parkland and greenspace for the City of Houston and develops and implements recreational programming for citizens of all abilities. For more information on the Houston Parks and Recreation Department, call (832) 395-7022 or visit www.houstonparks.org.