Recreation and Culture is focused on improving quality of life for city residents and visitors by managing facilities, programs and activities that challenge the whole person: body, mind and spirit. The area oversees the operation of Parks & Recreation, the Southern Museum and Smith-Gilbert Gardens.

Parks & Recreation

The Parks & Recreation Department provides the highest quality recreational opportunities by developing both active and passive programs and facilities to promote the physical, social, and mental wellness of its citizens.

Southern Museum

The Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History offers the opportunity to step back in time and experience a taste of life in the Civil War era. It is the home of The General, the locomotive made famous in the Great Locomotive Chase.

Smith Gilbert Gardens

The Smith-Gilbert Gardens is a 16-acre wonderland of verdant foliage,flowers and original sculptures. It's a place to relax, meander and let the peace and harmony of being surrounded by the beauty of nature refresh and revitalize the soul.


Director, Parks & Recreation
Doug Taylor
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Director, Southern Museum
Dr. Richard Banz
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Director, Smith-Gilbert Gardens
Ann Parsons
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  • Classes at Smith-Gilbert Gardens offer gardening pointers to adults & kids.

  • Kennesaws proud heritage is honored and remembered on the grounds of the City Cemetery.

  • Kennesaw Parks & Recreation will get you moving toward improved fitness and health.

  • Morning dog walking is invigorating and enjoyable at Swift-Cantrell Park.

  • City officials and business owners cut the ribbon to showcase a new opening.

  • Police officers start the recruiting process early.

  • Shop at our Farmers Market for fresh produce, baked goods & other items from May-October.

  • Mayor Mathews invites future community leaders to participate in City Council meetings.

  • The Police Honor Guard is specially trained to represent the department at formal functions.

  • The Civil War era comes to life at the Southern Museum and in annual battle re-enactments.

  • The annual Pigs & Peaches BBQ Festival features a Kansas City BBQ Society sanctioned contest.

  • Gather your paints brushes or camera and get inspired at Smith-Gilbert Gardens.

  • Enthusiastic and dedicated staff provide first-rate support of the citys trails, parks and facilities.

  • Hundreds of volunteers maintain the beautiful flora at the 16 acre Smith-Gilbert Gardens.

  • The Citys two community parks offer families hours of recreation and relaxation.

  • Children celebrate Arbor Day by planting a tree in the Garden at Swift-Cantrell Park.

  • Kennesaw Mountain Battlefield Park offers a bird-eye view of the city and surrounding area.

  • A new pedestrian underpass provides safe passage between Main St. and the Depot.

  • The City offers free wireless internet in parks & city facilities.

  • The Annual Big Shanty Festival features crafts, food, & shows attracting over 50,000 visitors.