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  • Writer's pictureNathan Stewart

CLPA Agency Spotlight: City of Alexandria, Virginia Department of Parks and Recreation

Alexandria, Virginia, is home to over 154,000 residents, and Alexandria's Department of Parks and Recreation is essential to their health and well-being. Parks appeal to citizens of all ages, backgrounds, and identities. The City of Alexandria's Parks and Recreation Department maintains safe, fun, healthy outdoor areas that residents can enjoy. Parks and Recreation help to facilitate the health and well-being of its citizens by providing recreation activities that range from sports programs to after-school activities for youth and exercise classes.




The mission of the Department is to enrich the City of Alexandria by creating meaningful experiences through public space, cultural activities, and programming. They strive to improve the well-being of every individual in Alexandria by forging connections among community members and their environment. By cultivating strong bonds within the community and nurturing a profound connection with the city's natural and cultural heritage, they pave the way for a brighter tomorrow.


Values: Guiding Principles that Shape Their Work

Equity is a core value, ensuring fair and equitable access to parks, facilities, and programs for all community members. The Department tirelessly works to dismantle barriers and promote inclusivity, striving to create an environment where everyone can benefit from the transformative power of their initiatives.


Exceptional customer experiences are at the core of the Department's service philosophy. A passionate dedication drives them to provide responsive, professional, courteous, and accountable service to each individual they serve. Going the extra mile is a natural part of their commitment, ensuring that every interaction leaves a lasting positive impression and contributes to the overall enrichment of the community.


Safety is paramount, and the Department prioritizes visitors' well-being by maintaining clean, accessible, and secure spaces. By fostering an environment free from concerns and distractions, they create a haven where individuals can fully immerse themselves in the experiences they offer, embracing the joys of recreation.


The Department believes in continuous learning, encouraging individuals to embrace lifelong learning, and empowering personal growth and development. By providing opportunities for exploration, skill acquisition, and expanding horizons, they enrich the lives of individuals and the community.


Integrity serves as the foundation for the Department's interactions. They approach every endeavor with honesty, fairness, and respect. Transparency and ethical conduct are non-negotiable, as they build trust and forge strong relationships within the community. Open and authentic dialogue is valued, fostering an environment where ideas flourish, and partnerships thrive.


Civic responsibility is a fundamental aspect of the Department's mission. As public servants, they wholeheartedly embrace the responsibility to better the world around them. Their dedication extends beyond programs and services as they actively engage in initiatives that contribute to the overall well-being of Alexandria. They strive to be a positive force for change, continuously seeking ways to uplift the community and leave a lasting impact.


Programs and Activities


The City of Alexandria's Department of Parks and Recreation provides many programs and activities that people of all ages and backgrounds can enjoy. The Department offers youth and adult sports, including a Coed Soccer League, Teen Basketball League, and adult tennis classes. The Department even offers adult pickleball! The Department provides sports and cheer programs, dance classes including Zumba, and environmental education lectures and outings. Speaking of outings, the Parks and recreation department provides residents with activities and trips! Listed on their website, the division offers a Zip Line and Adventure Trip for Teens, the Family Masquerade Ball, and many other programs.



There are many ways to contact the Department of Parks and Recreation. You could contact James Spengler, the Recreation Director, at (703)-746-5500 or via email at James.spengler@alexandriava.gov. You can also visit the Department of Parks and Recreation in-person at 1108 Jefferson St. in Alexandria, VA 22314, or contact the main office at (703)-838-6344 Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. The front desk is, however, open from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm.


The Department also provides a survey where residents can voice their feedback to Parks and Recreation staff about their experience.

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