The Parks and Recreation Department is responsible for the direction, supervision, operation and maintenance of 42 parks, comprising more than 928 acres, of which 584 acres are fully developed requiring regular maintenance. The Department is responsible for mowing over 120 miles of the City's medians/parkways, roadsides, ditches, alleys and the grounds of City Hall. They also operate a greenhouse/tree nursery at the Park Street Service Center.
The Department is responsible for the City's recreation programs, athletics, swimming pools and related facilities. In addition, the department maintains the Bayland Waterfront Marina, Restaurant and Boat Launching Facility, Eddie V. Gray Wetlands Education and Recreation Center, and the Baytown Nature Center. Supervisory staff and operations personnel do planning, grant writing, renovations and construction of many city facility improvements.
In addition to daily and seasonal maintenance operations, the Parks and Recreation Department sponsors and co-sponsors, with considerable volunteer support, many youth/adult programs, plus special events such as the July 4th Celebration, Special Olympics Track Meet, Senior Olympics, youth and adult fishing tournaments, softball tournaments, art shows, the Christmas Parade and other holiday events. The Department works closely with the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board in linking citizens to the planning of facility operations, programs, and events. Key staff have Human Resources and Public Information responsibilities under the City's Emergency Management Plan. The Cultural Arts Advisory Council, Baytown Nature Center Planning Sub-Committee, Chandler Arboretum Planning Sub-Committee, the Aquatics Planning Sub-Committee and the Goose Creek Stream Development Committee are committees on which the staff both consult, monitor and assist.
This year's budget includes 35 full-time employees and more than 50 part-time employees, most of whom are employed on a seasonal basis. This includes swimming pool staff and seasonal park maintenance staff. At least two of the major goals set by the Baytown's Comprehensive Plan lie within the scope of this department. Those are beautification and expanded recreational opportunities.
- Demonstrate sensitivity to citizen’s needs in planning programs and facilities.
- Expand recreation opportunities, especially for youth.
- Improve the community's image and appearance by providing quality recreation programs and safe, well-maintained parks and open spaces.
- Heighten community awareness of the parks and recreation services available.
- Ensure that maintenance standards are kept current, and continue to make improvements.
- Continue the Goose Creek Stream Greenbelt project.
- Continue to complete current CDBG projects and look for additional opportunities for CDBG park improvement programs.
- Maintain scheduled MDD construction projects and improvements for park facilities.
- Soften Baytown’s image by enhancing and promoting the City’s environmental resources.
- Solicit citizen involvement in planning of event, programs and new facilities.
- Reduce mowing rotation times: Parks from 3 weeks to 2 weeks, Medians from 3 weeks to 2 weeks, Roadsides from 8 weeks to 6 weeks and Slope Mowing from 8 weeks to 6 weeks.
- Increase scope of weed control programs on medians and right of ways.
- Provide increased information to media and make regular presentations to community groups.
- Continue tree/shrub nursery operations, plant at least 45 sizable trees in park, and provide 800 saplings for Arbor Day.
- Inspect playgrounds on a consistent basis.
- Clean park facilities and remove litter 2 times per week in all parks and 4 times per week in heavily used parks.