Downtown Tampa View

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 advance 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.

National Accreditation

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). Accredited agencies must go through the accreditation process every five years. In September 2021, we were re-accredited as one of the best agencies in the nation. This national recognition has been awarded to fewer than 200 agencies in the country!

National Recreation and Park Association logo

Awards & Recognition

2023 Tampa Magazine's Best of the City

2023 Best of the City GraphicThe City of Tampa is honored to have two of its parks win first and second place in the "Best Park" in the Tampa Bay area category. Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park topped the list, with Ballast Point Park coming in at second. “With all the high-quality parks throughout our region this is a special recognition to receive. This reflects our team’s hard work and dedication to provide Tampa with clean, safe, and enjoyable parks for both residents and visitors. We are honored for this accolade and are thankful for the community’s support,” said Tony Mulkey, Interim Director of Tampa Parks & Recreation.

2023 Karen Jacobs Outstanding Accessible Place

We are privileged to receive the Karen Jacobs Outstanding Accessible Place award from the Hillsborough County Alliance for Persons with Disabilities. This award recognizes the importance of universal design and barrier-free environments incorporated at the New Tampa All Abilities Playground.

2022 Outstanding Accessible Places for People Award

We are honored to receive this award by the Hillsborough County Alliance for Persons with Disabilities. We received it for the expansion of Freedom Playground in Macfarlane Park and recognizes the importance of universal design and barrier-free environments.

2022 Aspen Institute Project Play ChampionProject Play Champion Logo

Project Play is a community of more than 20,000 organizations and leaders building healthy children through sports. Each year, the Project Play Champions program recognizes local and national organizations that are taking new, meaningful and specific actions consistent with the Project Play framework.

2022 Tampa's Downtown Urban Excellence Awards: Activating Spaces Award along with CRISP

This award recognizes a person, organization, business, project or initiative that has made a positive and significant contribution to a Downtown space or has created a more attractive pedestrian atmosphere, and commercially vibrant environment through activities, street level store front improvements or design elements. We are gracious to receive this award with CRISP for the MacDill Park Gold Star Memorial.

2022 Tampa's Downtown Urban Excellence Awards: Public Sector Project Award

This award recognizes a public sector project that has made a positive and significant contribution to Downtown; and has demonstrated a strong impact in revitalizing the Downtown area. We are honored to have received this award for Madison Street Park.

2021 National Gold Medal Award Winner

The American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration (AAPRA), in partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), announced the City of Tampa Parks and Recreation Department as a winner of the National Gold Medal Award for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management. This highlights our commitment to public safety, keeping kids safe and active and providing top-of-the-line spaces to draw visitors to our city.

In 2018, 2019, and 2020 we were recognized as finalist of this award.

2020 Awards in Excellence: Entertainment and Redevelopment Award Winner

During the 38th Annual Planning and Design Awards, it was announced that our new Madison Street Park was selected to win the Award in Excellence.

Located in Tampa’s Channel District, Madison Street Park was designed with a modern industrial theme as a tribute to the area’s industrial past. At just under an acre, the judges commended how they were able to maximize the limited space and how residents’ preferences were incorporated in the design. By making them stakeholders in the planning process, the City of Tampa created a park that offers its residents a variety of ways to spend time outdoors and is fully accessible to pedestrians, bicyclists, and those with limited mobility. A pavilion offers the community the opportunity to hold music performances, movies, festivals, and more. Court activities such as shuffleboard, volleyball, pickleball and an artificial turf putting green are available for unscheduled play. It even features a new dog park with artificial turf with separate areas for small and large dogs. While small in size, Madison Street Park offers people and pets of all ages and activity levels a special place to enjoy the outdoors in their unique urban setting.

-The Hillsborough County City-County Planning Commission

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