For general information, please call (408) 535-3570.
Department Executive Team
Assistant Director, N/A
Deputy Director, Capital and Planning
Deputy Director, Recreation & Community Services Division
Deputy Director, Parks Division
Public Information Manager
Boards & Commissions
- Parks & Recreation Commission advises City Council on the City's system of parks, playgrounds, recreation facilities, and recreation programs.
- Senior Citizens Commission studies, reviews, evaluates and makes recommendations to City Council on matters affecting elderly people in the City.
- Youth Commission fosters greater involvement of youth in municipal government, studies problems, activities and concerns of youth relating to municipal policies, programs or projects within the City.
- (Currently Inactive) Parks Bond Citizen Oversight Committee acts in an advisory capacity on all matters relating to the implementation of the Parks Bond Program.
Community Based Organization Support
- Senior Health & Wellness Initiative (SHW) reduces social isolation and improve the health and wellness of individuals ages 60+ by providing safe places for seniors to engage in quality programs that are accessible. Grant funding is intended to support new programming, enhance existing programs, or restore a program with a significant record of success.
- San José Bringing Everyone’s Strengths Together (B.E.S.T) grant program develops and implements programs that address needs of high-risk and gang-involved youth and their families; and to provide a coordinated continuum of prevention, intervention and suppression services. Services include cognitive development, life skills training, street outreach, substance abuse treatment, vocational services, and parent/family awareness. BEST services are associated with decreased recidivism, increased high school completion, and other pro-social outcomes.
- Safe Summer Initiative Grant (SSIG) provides / enhances recreational and/or educational opportunities not normally available to high-risk and gang-impacted youth during the summer months, providing a safe environment for participants while keeping them active and engaged.
- Annual funding for all PRNS grant programs is subject to appropriation by City Council. To stay informed and apply for any of the funding opportunities mentioned above, applicants must be registered on WebGrants online grants management system.
The mission of the Department of Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Services (PRNS) is to build healthy communities through people, parks and programs. PRNS provides a diverse variety of programs that impact the lives of children, youth, adults, seniors, and people with disabilities throughout the City. PRNS strives to build community through fun, and make and activate quality places in San José where people want to live, work, play, and learn.
PRNS has a rich history and was established in the 1940’s. Here are highlights of our department through the years.
- 1930 - First semi-public type of recreation program was launched in San José.
- 1942 - City Council passed ordinances to create a five-member recreation commission and Department Director.
- 1957 - People of San José passed a bond to build the first community center.
- 1965 - Department renamed the Department of Parks and Recreation.
- 1966 - First community center (Leininger Community Center) opened for public use.
- 1960’s, Department grew with the addition of St. James and Mayfair Neighborhood Centers, Family Camp at Yosemite, City golf course and senior education center.
- 1970’s, Department divided the City into geographical areas allowing more flexibility into which types of programs to offer.
- 1980 - Christmas in the Park opened for the first time at Plaza de Cesar Chavez
- 1980’s, Youth Services Division oversees development of NorCal Hershey Championship Track Meets, cheerleading competitions, junior high basketball tournaments, youth conferences
- 1980’s, Department added Visitor Services and Facilities (VSF) to develop facilities: Overfelt Park, Alum Rock Park and Kelley Park, Happy Hollow Park & Zoo, San José Family Camp, Lake Cunningham Park and Almaden Lake Park.
- 1987 - Camden Lifetime Activity Center opens and is the prototype for future PRNS Community Centers.
- 1991 - Mayor’s Gang Prevention Task Force (MGPTF) is implemented.
- 1993 - Department had expands from 4 to 33 community centers, adds a citywide service for therapeutic recreation and neighborhood revitalization efforts
- 2000 - Bond approved by voters to improve parks and community centers. Including; Almaden Lake, Emma Prusch, and Happy Hollow Park & Zoo, Almaden, Bascom, Camden, Mayfair, Roosevelt, and Seven Trees Community Centers.
- 2009 - PRNS develops the Pricing and Revenue Policy. This policy granted the City Manager to set PRNS user fees, thereby increasing PRNS’ ability to increase cost-recovery goals.
- 2015 - The inaugural Viva CalleSJ event is held, closing down six-miles of San Jose’s busiest streets.