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Impacting Our Community
Impacting Our Community
The National Recreation and Parks Association’s Three Pillars – Conservation, Health & Wellness and Social Equity – are shared values for Allen Parks and Recreation.  The department works to positively impact our community in each of these areas. 

Conservation
Conservation and environmental stewardship are top departmental priorities. 

2002-2014: Earned the National Arbor Day Foundation's Tree City USA designation

2011: $49,500 solid waste implementation grant from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) to initiate recycling in Allen Station Park 

2012: $35,685 grant from TCEQ to initiate recycling at Allen Event Center.

2013: $5,000 Lowes/Keep America Beautiful grant for the purchase/installation of a greenhouse. 

2014:  $1.3 million from local sales tax revenue to fund artificial turf installation, with significant impact on reducing water consumption. 

Annually:
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.    

For more information and resources relating to conservation, please also see:

Community Services: Water Conservation 
Urban Forestry
Migratory bird information and efforts to protect Celebration Park
Keep Allen Beautiful


Health and Wellness
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, and in 2013 with the opening of Hillside Wellness Park, Allen's first park uniquely geared toward adult exercise and recreation, accessible to all. 

For more information and resources relating to Health & Wellness please also see:

Recreation Facilities 
Parks and Trails Information 

Social Equity
Allen Parks and Recreation offers a number of special programs as well as financial assistance, and taking it further, has brought outreach programs directly into underserved communities.  

Special Programs/Assistance
Allen Parks and Recreation offers Special Needs and Adapted Programming (SNAP) including monthly dances, adapted aquatics, etc. and offers financial assistance through Citizen Assistance for Recreational Experiences (C.A.R.E.). A benefit concert hosted in 2011 raised more than $30,000 for the program. For more information about C.A.R.E., please email Carrie Cessna

Outreach
Outreach into underserved 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 via 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:

Special Needs and Adapted Programming
CARE


Planning for the Future
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 & Open Space Master Plan.  An update to the current plan is in the works and is expected by mid-late 2014.

Innovation
As our community has grown, Allen Parks and Recreation has worked to expand and improve upon 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 five 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. 


Public/Private Partnerships
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 it 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 @ Allen Station Park.  Recently named Cable Wakeboard Park of the Year, the park has proven to be an exciting amenity that perfect complements the adjacent skate park, The Edge @ 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.  



allen city hall photo