Named “Best in America” by the National Recreation and Park Association in 2004, the nationally recognized agency operates and maintains 3,540 acres of well-managed parkland, ranging from neighborhood playgrounds to regional parks. The City’s park system runs the gamut from “active” recreational complexes, complete with a wide variety of athletic facilities, to so-called “passive” parks, where visitors may simply enjoy the quiet natural surroundings.
The Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Affairs Department provides recreational opportunities for the citizens of Tallahassee and Leon County, liaison assistance for neighborhood associations and operates the Animal Service Center. The department has 171 full time staff, hundreds of seasonal part time employees and an annual operating budget of $22.6 million. It is comprised of nine major areas: administration, parks, recreation, athletics, golf, tennis, animal services and control, senior services and neighborhood affairs.
Named “Best in America” by the National Recreation and Park Association in 2004, the nationally recognized agency operates and maintains 3,540 acres of well-managed parkland, ranging from neighborhood playgrounds to regional parks. The City’s park system runs the gamut from “active” recreational complexes, complete with a wide variety of athletic facilities, to so-called “passive” parks, where visitors may simply enjoy the quiet natural surroundings. A team of landscape designers, horticultural experts, and maintenance crews work year-round to keep parkland clean, attractive, and functionally useful for the thousands of people enjoying the parks.
The department maintains eight multi-purpose community centers, a teen center, a senior services center, three specialty complexes including an arts and crafts center, a comprehensive gymnastics facility and a historic Tallahassee home now preserved as a meeting/reception facility, 28 playgrounds, 86 athletic fields, and 55 tennis courts. The department also operates seven municipal aquatic facilities and two golf courses, the 18-hole Hilaman Park Golf Course and the 9-hole Jake Gaither Golf Course.
The park system features 70 miles of trails, 2 dog parks, a skate park, 2 disc golf courses and a Miracle League Baseball field for those with disabilities. Program offerings include arts and crafts classes, fitness classes, organized playground programs, and specialty programs for citizens with disabilities. The department also plays a leading role in the staging of Tallahassee’s special events, ranging from Springtime Tallahassee to the Red Hills Horse Trials. The Special Events unit also serves as the lead coordinating agency for the area’s largest nighttime event, the hugely popular Winter Festival and Celebration of Lights, as well as the Celebrate America event on July 4 at Tom Brown Park.
The Animal Services division consists of the Animal Service Center and Animal Control. Responsibilities and programs include enforcement of animal control ordinances for the City, sheltering of stray/homeless pets, adoption, foster care, incentives for the public to spay or neuter their personal pets, and humane education outreach.
The Neighborhood Affairs division provides liaison assistance to the community’s 190 neighborhood associations. The division administers such programs as Neighborhood Cleanups, the Neighborhood Partnership Grant, the Neighborhood Leadership Academy, and other special projects and events.