After a 22-year absence, the Haywood County Board of Commissioners reinstated the county department in April of 2000. Since reinstatement, the Haywood County Recreation and Parks Department received a North Carolina Parks and Recreation Trust Fund grant to develop the first county-operated park, which opened June 2004. Allens Creek Park includes three large multipurpose fields, a playground, walking path, concession and restroom facility with a beautiful pavilion which was funded and constructed by the Waynesville Rotary Club with assistance from NEO Corporation and AYSO Region 572.
In addition to Allens Creek Park, HCRP maintains a passive park on Glance Street in Clyde which was at one time was an annex site for Haywood Community College. When the buildings were devastated by the 2004 floods, the property was acquired by the County in 2007. The walking path and parking area are remnants of the driveways around the buildings. A pollinator garden was established with a grant from the HC Master Gardeners.
The department has formed partnerships for all other facility usage and has worked with community clubs and volunteer fire departments in underserved areas of the county to improve outdoor recreation amenities. A new playground was installed in Fines Creek and a gravel walking path was constructed around the Cruso Community Center.
Staff includes two full-time, one permanent part-time, one regular part-time and many seasonal employees.