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The City of San José Department of Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Services (PRNS) has one of the most diverse service models of any agency of its type. The recreation, social services and outdoor spaces serve not only San Jose’s million plus residents, but individuals from surrounding cities and communities as well.

To be a National leader of Parks and Recreation in cultivating healthy communities through quality programs and dynamic public spaces.



Jon Cicirelli
(408) 793-5553

 Headshot of Nicolle Burnham Capital Projects Division

Deputy Director,
Capital and Planning

Nicolle Burnham
(408) 793-5514

 Headshot of Neil Rufino, Deputy Director of Community Services Deputy Director,
Recreation & Community Services Division

Neil Rufino
(408) 535-3572

 jl.jpg Deputy Director,
Parks Division

Justin Long
(408) 793-5579
 Headshot of Carolina Camarena Public Information Officer Public Information Manager,
Carolina Camarena
(408) 793-5519
For general information, please call (408) 535-3570.





  • 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 names first Department Director Frank Bramhall.
  • 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.