Community Group PARKnerships are formalized groups that provide a one-time or on-going donation of money or time/labor and other applicable resources to the Department. A community group partnership is a great opportunity to build relationships with community members around a shared vision for one of Alexandria’s valuable parks or programs. Forming a group is an effective means of ensuring that the park or program you enjoy today will be even more enjoyable to future generations. PARKner groups can range in their assistance from being “park stewards” to fundraising for program sustainability. Areas where groups can offer support include, but are not limited to:
- Support specific capital improvement projects identified in City plans
- Coordinate and staff educational or interpretive park or recreational programs
- Conduct research on the park’s natural resources
- Provide on-going volunteer maintenance of trails
- Maintain a garden located on public property
The PARKnership Program oversees partnerships, sponsors, volunteers, and donations for the development, design, construction and operation of recreational and park facilities and/or programs with the intent to support the Department of Recreation, Parks, and Cultural Activities’ goal for a healthy and thriving City of Alexandria.
- As an individual, group or business, provide a one-time or on-going donation of money or time/labor and other applicable recourse to RPCA. This may include sponsorship with a quid pro quo agreement (example includes logo on a sign or sports program and or t-shirts in exchange for donations).
Living Landscape Fund
- Submit a monetary or in-kind donation to support your favorite Neighborhood Park, recreation center, program, and or field. You can specify where you would like your donation to go and watch the donation enhance the area of your choice. Donate a gift as an individual or organization and support your City. Click here to make a donation now!
- Many City programs need volunteer support to provide services to residents. Volunteers are valued members of the community who provide and produce tremendous value to the City. Want to volunteer now? Visit www.alexandriava.gov/volunteer to sign up or seek volunteer opportunities.
- An advocacy cooperative venture between two or more parties with a common goal such as partners for capital or program improvement. Examples include: Farmer’s Markets, Simpson Dog Park, and Braddock Road Interim Park Bocce games. To get started complete the Partner Request Form.
- The Adopt-a-Park program is a cooperative venture between the State of Virginia, the City of Alexandria, and Alexandrian citizens to improve the appearance and condition of Alexandria’s small urban parks and open spaces. Community groups monitor and clean up their park at least once a week from April through
- How do I get my group involved? Submit an Adopt-A-Park Volunteer Application to the Department of Recreation, Parks, and Cultural Activities for review and a Department representative will contact you.
The Alexandria Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities offers the community a personal opportunity to honor a friend or loved one by adopting a bench at one of our parks. When you adopt, City Staff will install a personalized plaque on either an existing or a new park bench.
The plaques take about 8 weeks for production and installation, You can write the plaque inscription yourself or let the recipient write their own.
Full payment must be received before you can reserve a bench.
Multiple donors may contribute through honorary or memorial funds.
Bench adoptions are fully tax-deductible, and payment can be made by check, or credit card.
- Add plaque to existing bench: $800
- Install new black steel bench without a plaque: $1,400
- Install new black steel bench with a plaque: $1,600
- Install new wood bench without a plaque: $1,875
- Install new wood bench with a plaque: $2,175
All new benches require on-site placement consultation with park staff.
To adopt a bench, please first consult with Lucresha Murphy to identify a location. We are happy to provide maps of any of your preferred locations and/or meet with you on site.
The Community Matching Fund
Leverages collaborative community partnership opportunities with the City that expand and improve the quality of recreation, park, and cultural experiences. The Fund provides matching 1:1 dollars (up to $25,000 of City funds) for groups that propose fundraising for park and recreation facility improvement projects. The Fund fosters public/private partnerships and cultivates innovative ways for residents to have a greater stake in improving the park and recreation facilities that they use. Click here for more information.
Fiscal Year 2017 Awardees:
- The Charles Houston Advisory Council: $25,000
To develop a model teen center within existing space at the Charles Houston Recreation Center.
- Alexandria Soccer Association: $15,000
To provide existing court enhancements to upgrade and support community Futsal program at Four Mile Run Park.
- Four Mile Run Conservatory Foundation: $5,000
To install water-bottle and jug filling stations at the two highest-use fields in the City, those at Simpson Stadium Park and Witter Recreational Fields where there is currently no outdoor access to drinkable water; wall-mounted ADA-accessible stations installed on the existing built facilities.
- PKMove: $5,000
To purchase a Pop-up Playground and two portable mats to expand and increase participation in free weekly Parkour lessons for senior citizens and other special populations in our city parks.
- The Charles Houston Advisory Council: $25,000
- These organizations are separate and independent from the City and provide their own leadership, organizational and operational structure. An investment in public recreational facilities and programs that create a mutually beneficial partnership in which to provide quality recreation opportunities for all the individuals served by the parties, as well as the general public.
How to Get Started
- Assemble a Group: A group should be well representative of the surrounding communities who use or could potentially use the park or program. The most successful groups consist of members and organizations from a variety of backgrounds, professions, and interests. These diverse organizations have a wealth of perspectives and skills that they can draw from to collectively tackle issues and identify opportunities in the parks. It is also extremely important that your group recruit members with skills or interests pertaining to your park or programs specific resources and your group’s goals.
- Submit a Community Group Proposal: The proposal should include the purpose of the organization, outline of the proposed project, and goals for fundraising or in-kind donation/labor. Before submitting a proposal, staff advise that interested groups should work closely with park management and staff to understand the specific needs of the park or program and how they can best assist in meeting those needs. It is also critical for the group to be aware of a park or program's approved plan and have their efforts go towards implementing the plan.
- Work with staff to draft a Community Group Agreement: Once you submit your proposal, a staff committee, representing various park and recreation areas, will review it and, if determined to be aligned with the Department's mission, will work with you to draft a Community Group Agreement. The agreement will stipulate the administrative framework including the group's responsibilities, expectations, project costs, site boundaries, the City's Landscape Guidelines (if the project includes plantings), and City regulations. Once all parties agree to the draft text, a representative of the group and the City will jointly sign the agreement. After the agreement is signed, the City will market the partnership, such as a City approved sign bearing the community group's name in the Park for the period of time stipulated in the agreement.
- Start helping to improve our parks and programs!
For additional information, contact Lucresha Murphy, PARKnership Manager, and Lucresha.Murphy@alexandriava.gov or 703.746-5489.
Other Ways to Get Involved
Open Space Fund
Make a donation to our open space fund to help acquire and sustain open space. More Information.
The Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities commissions and committees compose a formal system through which citizens can advise City Council on issues affecting the City. All meetings open to the public. Position vacancies are advertised in the local newspapers and through civic associations. Applicants for commission and committee vacancies may obtain application forms and additional information by calling 703.746.4800 or by visiting the Office of Communications and Public Information.
- Alexandria Park & Recreation Commission
- Alexandria Commission for the Arts
- Alexandria Beautification Commission
- Alexandria Waterfront Commission
Recreation Center Advisory Councils - A Way to Get Involved
- Charles Barrett Recreation Center
3rd Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.
Call 703.746.5551 for information.
- Charles Houston Recreation Center
3rd Wednesday at 7 p.m.
Call 703.746.5552 for information.
- Cora Kelly Recreation Center
3rd Wednesday at 7 p.m.
Call 703.746.5554 for information.
- Mount Vernon Recreation Center
3rd Wednesday at 7 p.m.
Call 703.746.5556 for information.
- Nannie J. Lee Memorial Center
2nd Monday at 7 p.m.
Call 703.746.5550 for information.
- Patrick Henry Recreation Center
2nd Tuesday at 7 p.m.
Call 703.746.5557 for information.
- William Ramsay Recreation Center
3rd Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.
Call 703.746.5558 for information.
Meeting dates and times are subject to change. Please call the recreation center in your neighborhood or visit www.alexandriava.gov/RecreationCenters for additional information.