The Hayward Area Recreation and Park District, known locally as “HARD”, is an independent special district created in 1944 by public vote to provide parks and recreation services. The District now serves over 300,000 residents across 100 square-miles in the City of Hayward and the unincorporated communities of Ashland, Castro Valley, Cherryland, Fairview and San Lorenzo. The District shares boundaries with many governmental agencies including three County Supervisor districts; the City; four school districts; and numerous special districts.
HARD is the largest recreation district in California with over 100 parks and facilities including many unique treasures. This includes a golf course with two-story driving range with Top Golf Tracer systems; a full-production theatre; interpretive nature programs and an animal hospital; two senior centers; robust sports programs for youth and adults; numerous pre-k sites and programs; the historic Hayward Plunge natatorium and several seasonal aquatic facilities and splash pads; California’s oldest Japanese Gardens; Mia’s Dream Come True Ultra-Inclusive Playground; and many beautiful facilities and parks that have received national and state recognition for their design, innovation and beauty, as well as hundreds of educational and recreational classes and programs.
Operating under the Board/Manager form of government, the five Board Members are directly elected for alternating four-year terms. The General Manager is appointed by the Board and is responsible for carrying out the Board’s policy directions. Under minimal direction, the General Manager directs all activities of the District, subject to the policies approved by the Board of Directors and provides day-to-day leadership for the District. This position has overall responsibility and control of all District property of the District.
The General Manger is supported by a talented and experienced team of Department Heads and provides leadership and direction for the District’s departments including Administrative Services; Parks and Facilities Maintenance; Recreation, Arts and Community Services; Capital Planning and Development; and the functions in the General Manager’s Office including the Board Clerk, Records Retention, Public Information, Human Resources and the Foundation.
Candidates must a bachelor’s degree from a recognized college or university, preferably with specialization in park and recreation administration, public administration, or in a closely related field. Plus, ten (10) years of increasingly responsible experience in parks and recreation administration, at least seven (7) years of which must have been in an administrative or supervisory capacity. A master’s degree in parks and recreation administration, public administration or a closely related field is highly desirable.
About Hayward Area Recreation and Park District
The Hayward Area Recreation and Park District, known locally as “H.A.R.D.," is an independent special use district created to provide park and recreation services for over 280,000 residents. Our boundaries encompass a 100 square-mile area, which includes the City of Hayward and the unincorporated communities of Castro Valley, San Lorenzo, Ashland, Cherryland, and Fairview.
In 1944, representatives of the City of Hayward, various school districts, and local civic organizations developed a proposal for establishment of the Hayward Area Recreation and Parkway District. When an initiative was placed on the November 7th ballot, the residents voted overwhelmingly for the creation of the District, which was officially formed on December 11, 1944. In 1958, the District changed its name to the Hayward Area Recreation and Park District, and has become the largest recreation district in the State of California.
Since its creation, the District has provided residents with many beautiful facilities and parks, many of which have received national and state recognition for their design, innovation and beauty, as well as hundreds of educational and recreational classes and programs.
Ou...r mission is to enrich the quality of life for our community by providing a variety of recreation activities, parks, and facilities that promote health and wellness, learning, and fun.