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.

DPR manages:

  • 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.

Work Plan

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.

Annual Report

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.


  1. 2020 Awards
  2. 2019 Awards
  3. 2018 Awards
  4. 2017 Awards
  5. 2016 Awards
  6. 2015 Awards
  7. 2014 Awards
  8. 2013 Awards
  9. 2012 Awards
  10. 2011 Awards
  11. 2010 Awards
  12. 2009 Awards
  • 2020 Golden Leaf Award:  Keep Durham Beautiful Award for the Environmental Education Pavilion