- ABOUT US
Durham Parks and Recreation (DPR) provides opportunities for the Durham community to Play More: Connecting our whole community to wellness, the outdoors, and lifelong learning. Guided by the City’s Strategic Plan, we strive to help residents discover, explore and enjoy life through creative and challenging recreational choices that contribute to their physical, emotional, and social health.
- Over 1,600 acres of parkland
- 66 parks
- 56 playgrounds
- 29 miles of paved trails
- 7 recreation centers
- 13 special use facilities
- 3 outdoor pools
- 2 city lakes
- 2 heritage parks
- 2 indoor pools
DPR is a nationally accredited agency by the National Parks and Recreation Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA).
Play More: Connecting our whole community to wellness, the outdoors, and lifelong learning.
Durham Parks and Recreation will be Durham’s leading resource for recreational choices to help citizens enjoy life while contributing to their health and well-being.
Benefits of Parks and Recreation
Durham Parks and Recreation offers gathering places for families and social groups as well as individuals of all ages and economic statuses, regardless of their ability to pay. Our programs encourage health and wellness, as well as offer recreational opportunities. Learn more about Parks & Recreation's benefits.
We’re committed to building better lives and a better Durham! Explore our 2021-2022 Work Plan which shares 6 Core focus areas, 7 major goals, and 42 key performance indicators we plan to accomplish this year.
View DPR's Fiscal Year 2022 Annual Report.
Public recreation was started in Durham in April of 1924 by a City Council Resolution which stated, "It has been recognized by the Council that playgrounds are essential to proper growth and citizenship."
In accordance with this observation the Council, in July 1924, appropriated money for summer playgrounds. On July 1, 1925, the Council appropriated money to organize a Recreation Department with a full-time director. Durham became the second recreation department in North Carolina. C.R. Wood was selected as the first Director.
View our history timeline to learn more about DPR throughout the years.
- 2020 Awards
- 2019 Awards
- 2018 Awards
- 2017 Awards
- 2016 Awards
- 2015 Awards
- 2014 Awards
- 2013 Awards
- 2012 Awards
- 2011 Awards
- 2010 Awards
- 2009 Awards
- 2020 Golden Leaf Award: Keep Durham Beautiful Award for the Environmental Education Pavilion
- Received the Great Places Award from the NC Chapter of the American Planning Association for the renovations of the basketball courts at Hillside Park.
- Golden Leaf Award: Sandy Creek Park Trails and Boardwalks - Keep Durham Beautiful Award
- Received accreditation through the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA) and the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) for the 3rd time
- Received 9th year designation as a Playful City USA
- Received the National Partnership Award by the National Recreation and Park Association for its successful partnership with the Duke University Medical Center to treat childhood obesity through the Bull City Fit program
- Received 8th year designation as a Playful City USA
- Received 7th year designation as a Playful City USA
- Received 6th year designation as a Playful City USA
- Received 5th year designation as a Playful City USA
- Developed a new 10 year department master plan
- Mayor William V. “Bill” Bell was selected to participate in the 1st Playful City USA Summit in Bethesda, Maryland
- Received 4th year designation as a Playful City USA
- Chosen to host the North Carolina Recreation and Parks Association (NCRPA) - Therapeutic Recreation Conference at the Holton Career and Resource Center March 19 through March 20, 2012
- 2012 Golden Leaf Awards (community appearance / design award):
- Merit award winner - The Leaf at Durham Central Park
- Merit award winner - Walltown Park Recreation Center
- Received 3rd year designation as a Playful City USA
- The Bimbé Cultural Art Festival was selected by the National Recreation and Park Association to receive the 2011 Dorothy Mullen Arts and Humanities, Class II Award
- Bethesda Park was selected by the National Recreation and Park Association to receive the 2011 Park / Facility Design, Class II Award - shared with Landscape Architect Susan Hatchell
- Received 2nd year designation as a Playful City USA
- Received a KABOOM! Community Build project for the renovation of Burch Avenue Park
- Received the 2010 Arts and Humanities Award from the North Carolina Recreation and Parks Association for our 3rd Fridays Concert Series
- Designated as a Playful City USA for the 1st time