About Us / Contact Us / Organization Charts

Mission Statement

“The Department of Parks & Recreation is committed to improving our community’s health, stability, beauty, and quality of life by providing outstanding parks, trails, recreational facilities, and leisure opportunities for all Columbia citizens.”

About Us

Columbia Parks and Recreation oversees  3,375 acres of park land and maintains 71 parks,  58 miles of trail, and conducts programs at 10 indoor recreation facilities. (Park and facility inventory) A wide array of sports, recreation activities, lessons and special events are available for citizens of all ages. Open space, parks, and trails provide opportunities to enjoy the natural beauty of Columbia.

The largest of the parks is the 533-acre Columbia Cosmopolitan Recreation Area. Columbia has eight destination trails – the MKT Nature/Fitness Trail, Bear Creek Trail, Grindstone Creek TrailHinkson Creek Trail, County House Trail, Hominy Creek Trail, Scott’s Branch Trail, and South Providence Trail, along with many regional, community, and neighborhood park trails. The 8.9-mile MKT Nature/Fitness Trail connects downtown Columbia with the Katy Trail State Park and provides active recreation while preserving large areas of natural beauty.

The Department is organized into two divisions: Park Services and Recreation Services.

Parks and Recreation Department Full-Time Staff (Photo taken Dec 2015)

Park Services Division

In the Park Services Division, the Parks Management and Operations Program is responsible for the management, maintenance, and operation of parks, playgrounds, indoor and outdoor recreation facilities, athletic fields, golf courses, grounds, trails and special events support. It is also responsible for the maintenance of small equipment and the capital replacement of the P & R Department’s fleet. The Planning and Development Program in the Park Services Division is responsible for all park capital improvements. Staff identify, plan and develop recreation areas and facilities to meet the varied recreation and leisure needs of the citizens of Columbia. Also included in this division is the City’s Natural Resource Program, which includes Forestry and Horticulture staff responsible for landscaped areas in all parks, public buildings, designated median strips and the downtown area. The Park Ranger Program works out of this division and provides assistance to visitors and enforces the park rules and regulations.

Recreation Services Division

Recreation Services provides a broad spectrum of leisure services to meet the needs of all segments of the community. This includes group and individual programming to promote a high quality of life through positive, social, cultural, psychological, emotional, and physiological development. The sections administered in the Recreation Services Division are: Sports Programming; Aquatics; Adaptive and Outdoor Recreation; Community Recreation; Golf/Concessions; Senior Programming; Cultural Arts and Life Enrichment; Oak Tours; and the Activity and Recreation Center (ARC). The summer youth employment program, Career Awareness and Related Experience (CARE), is also administered by the Recreation Services Division.

Contact Us

Parks & Recreation Office – Gentry Building

Parks and Recreation Office Gentry BuildingTelephone Number:

Cancellation Hotline:

Fax Number:

Mailing Address:
Parks & Recreation
P.O. Box 6015
Columbia, MO 65205-6015

Physical Address:
Parks & Recreation
One S. 7th Street
Columbia, MO 65201

Gentry Business Hours:
M-F, 8:00am-5:00pm
(closed on holidays)

For general information, questions, reservations, and program registration contact:
Parks & Recreation Main Office – Front Desk

For media contact:
Marketing Specialist
Tammy Miller

For problems/concerns regarding recreation programs and the Activity and Recreation Center (ARC) contact:
Recreation Services Manager
Erika Coffman

For problems/concerns regarding park operations/maintenance contact:
Park Services Manager
Gabe Huffington

For problems/concerns regarding park planning and development contact:
Park Planning & Development Superintendent
Mike Snyder

For problems/concerns regarding the parks’ natural resources (including horticulture and forestry) contact:

Cosmo Park greeneryPark Natural Resources Supervisor
Brett O’Brien

Ryan Russell

Dave Dittmer

Parks & Recreation Director
Mike Griggs

Organization Charts

The Department is organized into two divisions: Park Services and Recreation Services.