Parks and Recreation plays a vital role in our community’s exceptional quality of life

By Kelli Nesbitt, Parks & Recreation Marketing Coordinator

Parks are at the center of so many experiences and memories — moments that parks and recreation professionals help make happen.

College Station’s Parks & Recreation Department maintains 56 developed and 10 undeveloped parks that span nearly 1,867 acres, not to mention various recreational facilities and programs.

We like to think we have something to offer everyone, but that wasn’t always the case.

In honor of Parks and Recreation Month, let’s look back at our history and see just how far we’ve come.

Not long after College Station was incorporated in 1938 – with about 2,000 residents – the first city council created a parks board to manage public parks and grounds. Then, in 1947, the city purchased land from F.B. Clark and Hershel Burgess to establish our first municipal park.

Located on Dexter Drive and initially known as Dexter Park, it was renamed Brison Park in 1980 in honor of Fred Brison. He served as Mayor Pro Tem of College Station from 1971-1974 and was a faculty member of Texas A&M’s Department of Horticultural Sciences for 43 years.

Brison Park is a beautifully wooded green space with a 1/3-mile nature trail and a seasonal stream. Around the park’s perimeter are lamp posts and individual markers dedicated to each of the 12 victims of the 1999 Texas Aggie Bonfire tragedy.

Parks and Recreation became a city department in 1971 and has grown into one of only 20 nationally accredited municipal parks agencies in Texas with 71 full-time employees and numerous part-time, seasonal staff.

Our parks feature 44 miles of walking trails, 58 exercise stations, 64 play units, 25 swing sets, 17 ponds, three dog parks, two pools, two splash pads, a skate park, and an all-abilities playground.

If that isn’t impressive enough, we also operate an amphitheater and festival site, two senior centers, a full-service recreation center, a public library, two cemeteries, and a nature center. In addition, our inventory of flat and diamond fields allows us to host a multitude of state and national tournaments in several sports.

Celebrate Park and Recreation Month with us by sharing your story. Tag us on social media or use #CSTXparks. We’re eager to hear your stories of how our community is stronger, more vibrant, and resilient because of our parks and recreation programs and facilities.

About Park & Recreation Month

Since 1985, America has celebrated July as the nation’s official Park and Recreation Month. In 2009, the U.S. House of Representatives officially mandated July as Park and Recreation Month. The National Recreation and Parks Association‘s mission is to advance parks, recreation, and environmental conservation efforts to enhance everyone’s quality of life.

For more information, go to or contact us at or 979-764-3486.

<strong><em><span class="has-inline-color has-medium-gray-color">About the Blogger</span></em></strong>
About the Blogger

Kelli Nesbitt has served the Parks & Recreation Department for 16 years, the last nine as marketing coordinator. A native of Bryan, Kelli earned a bachelor’s degree in health & kinesiology from Sam Houston State.

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