General Information

General information regarding the Department Accreditation Award, fee assistance, how to make a donation, landscape guidelines, and recreation center ID policy.

Page updated on Mar 1, 2017 at 2:11 PM


Mission Statement

We support the well-being of Alexandria’s residents by ensuring access to a variety of quality recreation, park and cultural experiences.  

Department Accreditation Award undefined

On October 13, 2004, the City of Alexandria Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities received national accreditation from the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA). National accreditation requires park and recreation agencies to meet 155 standards representing elements of effective and efficient park and recreation operations. The Commission is comprised of representatives from the National Recreation and Park Association, the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration, and the National Association of County Park and Recreation Officials. The City of Alexandria Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities is evaluated every five years and has successfully received national re-accreditation from CAPRA in October 2009 and October 2014.

Fee Assistance

The Alexandria Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities encourages participation in City programs from all City residents. If you, a member of your family or a friend would like to participate in programs or activities sponsored by this Department and are in need of fee assistance in order to participate, please contact the sponsoring program office for more detailed information. For general information, please call 703.746.5414 or TTY 703.838-4.902.

Customer Service Guarantee

The Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities is committed to delivering a consistently superior customer experience to all who participate in programs or visit parks and facilities. RPCA's goal is to deliver service that is Responsive, Professional, Courteous and Accountable. Please tell us about your experience by completing an Experience Survey in person at any RPCA  Community Center, online or email Your feedback is important to us!

How to Make a Donation

The Alexandria Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities offers citizens the opportunity to donate money and equipment to be used in enhancing the quality of programs offered to Alexandria residents. Any dollar amount is appropriate, and the donation is tax deductible. Please make checks payable to the city of Alexandria. The Department offers the following donation accounts:

  • Arts Commission Donation Account
    Contributions may be unrestricted or designated to support a specific program such as: Annual Grants Program, Alex Awards, Alexandria Film Festival, Art Chats, Poet Laureate Program, Arts in City Hall and City Galleries Program. Your gift in any amount is appreciated. Donations may be mailed to Office of the Arts, 1108 Jefferson St., Alexandria, VA 22314.
  • Living Landscape Fund
    The Alexandria Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities offers citizens a personal opportunity to beautify Alexandria while remembering a special occasion, event or person. Donations are used to plant trees and gardens, place park benches, and to install other park amenities throughout the City. The fund assists the City in realizing its goal of beautification and enhancing our open spaces. Donors may designate a specific use for the money and preferred location.
  • Open Space Fund
    Alexandria adopted an Open Space Master Plan in 2003. The plan seeks to enhance and grow the City’s open spaces through an established framework of 15 open space goals. Since its inception, City staff continues to work with the public and the new Open Space Advisory Group to achieve the goals set forth in the plan. Citizens may assist the City's efforts to preserve and protect open space throughout Alexandria by making a direct contribution to the City of Alexandria's Open Space Fund. The fund is used to acquire and enhance open space sites in Alexandria. For additional information, call 703.746.5488.  
  • Recreation Donation Account
    The Alexandria Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities offers citizens the opportunity to donate money, equipment, building materials, etc. to assist the Department in offering quality programming to its participants. Donors can designate a specific use for the donation and a preferred location. For additional information call 703.746.4343.
  • Stanley C. Stacey Senior Programs Donation Account
    The Stanley C. Stacey Senior Programs Donation Account was created by a donation from the Council of Area Senior Citizen Organizations (CASCO) to the Alexandria Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities. The account will be used to develop and support new senior programs, and to offer scholarships to senior residents for the participation in Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities sponsored and cosponsored programs and activities. For additional information call 703.746.5575.

Landscape Guidelines

The purpose of the Landscape Guidelines is to incorporate, up-front ecologically based planning as a means of improving the quality of the environment within the City while reducing maintenance requirements and costs over-time. The intent of the Landscape Guidelines is to provide predictable review expectations and processes for preservation of existing vegetation and proposed vegetation accompanying site disturbance and development.

The Landscape Guidelines establish minimum standards for the protection and preservation of existing vegetation; crown area coverage; installation and maintenance of proposed plantings-including street trees, site plantings, plantings above structure and plantings in parking and bioretention areas. The standards include reference sources for plant specification; project conditions and installation; advise on invasive species; post construction procedures and maintenance. Information in the Landscape Guidelines is not intended to replace, but to supplement applicable codes, ordinances and development procedures. In any given application the City may require additional improvements and plantings beyond the established minimums.

The Landscape Guidelines are intended for use by property owners, developers, and applicants seeking Site Plan, Plot Plan, Development Special Use Permit, and/or Special Use Permit approval within the City of Alexandria, Virginia.

Recreation Center ID Policy

All participants/users of the City of Alexandria neighborhood recreation centers must be residents of the City, and are required to show proof of residency to register at the neighborhood recreation centers.

All participants at the center who are 13 years of age or older are required to have a recreation center photo identification (initial ID card provided free of charge) to gain entrance to the City's neighborhood recreation centers. A $5 fee will be charged to replace lost ID cards. ID cards are good for one year (July - June).

Participants/users must renew registration cards each year and are required to verify residency when doing so. The following is a list of the acceptable forms of identification to verify City residence:

  • Current Virginia driver's license with a current utility bill
  • Current picture ID along with a current lease, City issued document or utility bill
  • Current Alexandria School ID (students) and verification of parent's residency.
  • Parents residency may be verified as stated above.