On September 25, 2018, Durham Parks and Recreation (DPR) was once again accredited by the National Parks and Recreation Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA).

About the National Recreation & Park Association

The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) is a national, not-for-profit organization dedicated to advancing park, recreation and conservation efforts that enhance quality of life for all people. Through its network of 20,000 recreation and park professionals and citizens, NRPA encourages the promotion of healthy lifestyles, recreation initiatives, and conservation of natural and cultural resources. For more information, visit the NRPA website. For digital access to NRPA's flagship publication, Parks and Recreation, visit the Parks and Recreation Magazine website.

The Commission of Accreditation of Park & Recreation Agencies

The Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA) standards for national accreditation provide an authoritative assessment tool for park and recreation agencies. Through compliance with the standards of excellence, CAPRA accreditation assures policy makers, department staff, the general public and tax payers that an accredited park and recreation agency has been independently evaluated against established benchmarks as delivering a high level of quality.


CAPRA accreditation is a quality assurance and quality improvement process demonstrating an agency’s commitment to its employees, volunteers, patrons and community.

NC Accredited Agencies

DPR has been accredited by CAPRA since 2008 and is 1 among 12 accredited agencies in North Carolina including:

  • Cary
  • Garner
  • Greensboro
  • Kannapolis
  • Kernersville
  • Mecklenburg
  • Mooresville
  • Morrisville
  • New Bern
  • Union County
  • Wake Forest

Accreditation Process

Established in 1989, CAPRA is a division of the National Recreation and Park Association and the only national accreditation program recognizing park and recreation agencies for excellence in operation and service. National accreditation through CAPRA is an extensive multi-year process, which includes the completion of an application and detailed self-assessment report, a site visit by a committee of experienced park and recreation professionals, and a final assessment completed by the agency and CAPRA.

CAPRA Compliance Standards

CAPRA evaluates agency based on an agency’s compliance with 151 standards and is in charge of the oversight of various areas including:

  • Facilities
  • Finances
  • Goals
  • Land use
  • Objectives
  • Planning
  • Programming
  • Public safety
  • Risk management
  • Volunteer recruitment 

The City of Durham Parks and Recreation Department met all of the 151 national standards.

Accreditation & DPR Facts

  • First accredited: October 14, 2008
  • Reaccreditation: October 7, 2013
  • Reaccreditation: September 25, 2018 
  • Next CAPRA visit: Spring 2018
  • Next CAPRA review: Congress 2018
  • Number of parks: 68
  • Acres of open space: 1830
  • DPR budget: $10,547,768
  • Number of full-time employees: 103