Mission Statement
The Town of Tonawanda Department of Youth, Parks and Recreation will be responsible for providing quality facilities, grounds, programs and leisure and family enrichment services to all residents of the Town of Tonawanda and Village of Kenmore.
The Town of Tonawanda Department of Youth, Parks and Recreation will strive to exceed the future demands of growth and change in our community while keeping true to the tradition and values that have made the Town of Tonawanda a good place to live, work and play.

We will establish a network of youth development and family enrichment programs and services that enable youth to acquire assets to become productive, functional and fully integrated members of the community. 

We will maintain facilities, buildings and grounds to the highest safety standards and ensure that they are clean, bright and aesthetically pleasing. 

We will enhance the quality of life for all residents by providing physical, social, cultural, natural, intellectual and passive programming for all ages. 

We will have a qualified, dedicated and motivated staff.

We will operate in a professional manner with an eye on providing quality services and leadership.

In 1947, the Recreation Department was founded in Franklin Diemer’s basement, he served as our first director, with an operating budget of $7,155/year.

In 1958 the Youth Recreation Master Plan passed issuing a two million dollar bond for the department’s expansion to include:  Four outdoor pools, four wading pools, two 18-hole golf courses, ice arenas and a recreation department office to be built.

Delaware Pool was built in 1954.

The Civic (Delaware) Wading Pool was built in 1955.

In 1956 Lincoln Pool was built.

In 1958 Lincoln and Brighton Arenas were built.

Brighton Pool was built in 1960.

The 1st nine holes at Brighton Golf Course were put in in 1964.

In 1965 the 2nd nine holes were built at Brighton Golf Course.

In 1968 Lincoln Playground was built.

In 1969 Irvington Playground was built.

The Recreation Department obtained the Robert Frost School and turned it into the Senior Citizens Center in 1976.

In 1982 the Recreation and Parks departments merge into one department. Betsy Ross Elementary School is turned into the Kenmore Community Center.

The Aquatic and Fitness Center opened on the site of the old Delaware Pool in 1991.

The Brighton Batting Cages opened in 1993 and in that same year the Aquatic and Fitness Center hosts the World Games Water Polo event.

In 1995 the Parks and Recreation Department merged with the Youth Bureau to form the Town of Tonawanda Youth, Parks and Recreation Department. 

The Paddock Chevrolet Golf Dome and NOCO Pavilion opened in 1998.

In 2009 the Spray Park opened in Sheridan Parkside; replacing Sheridan Parkside Wading Pool.

The Donald F. Kunzelman (DFK) Pavilion opened in 2013.

In 2015 a 12-hole disc golf course opened in Lincoln Park with all funding through the PEP Grant obtained by the Ken-Ton Union Free School District.

In August 2016 Rails to Trails opened on the former 3.2 miles stretch of railroad tracks. A 1-mile loop extension through Lincoln Park was completed in 2018.