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Get Involved

Information on how to get involved with the City of Alexandria, including volunteering, making donations, being apart of committes, and participate in adopt-a-park.

Become a Partner

Partners may include any of the following groups - all of which can be one-time or on-going partnerships:

Individual partners provide a one-time or on-going donation of money or time and labor to the Department. These opportunities include:

  • Volunteer: Volunteers are an important part of the Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities. Without volunteers the Department would be limited in the programs and activities it offers. Cultural Arts, Senior Citizen, Special Events, Therapeutic Recreation, Youth Sports, Recreation Center Advisory Councils, and the parks are just a few of the areas that depend on volunteers. Want to volunteer now? Visit Volunteer Alexandria to sign up or seek volunteer opportunities. 
  • Open Space Fund: Make a donation to our open space fund to help acquire and sustain open space. More Information
  • 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. Click here to make a donation. 

Community group partnerships are formalized groups that provide a one-time or on-going donation of money or time/labor and other applicable resources to the Department.  A community group partnership is a great opportunity to build relationships with community members around a shared vision for one of Alexandria’s valuable parks or programs. Forming a group is an effective means of ensuring that the park or program you enjoy today will be even more enjoyable to future generations. Partner groups can range in their assistance from being “park stewards” to fundraising for program sustainability. Areas where groups can offer support include, but are not limited to:

  • Support specific capital improvement projects identified in City plans
  • Coordinate and staff educational or interpretive park or recreational programs
  • Conduct research on the park’s natural resources
  • Provide on-going volunteer maintenance of trails
  • Maintain a garden located on public property

How to get started
  1. Assemble a group. A  group should be well representative of the surrounding communities who use or could potentially use the park or program. The most successful groups consist of members and organizations from a variety of backgrounds, professions, and interests. These diverse organizations have a wealth of perspectives and skills that they can draw from to collectively tackle issues and identify opportunities in the parks. It is also extremely important that your group recruit members with skills or interests pertaining to your park or programs specific resources and your group’s goals.
  2. Submit a Community Group proposal here. The proposal should include the purpose of the organization, outline of the proposed project, and goals for fundraising or in-kind donation/labor. Before submitting a proposal, staff advise that interested groups should work closely with park management and staff to understand the specific needs of the park or program and how they can best assist in meeting those needs. It is also critical for the group to be aware of a park or program's approved plan and have their efforts go towards implementing the plan.
  3. Work with staff to draft a Community Group Agreement. Once you submit your proposal, a staff committee, representing various park and recreation areas, will review it and, if determined to be aligned with the Department's mission, will work with you to draft a Community Group Agreement. The agreement will stipulate the administrative framework including the group's responsibilities, expectations, project costs, site boundaries, the City's Landscape Guidelines (if the project includes plantings), and City regulations. Once all parties agree to the draft text, a representative of the group and the City will jointly sign the agreement. After the agreement is signed, the City will market the partnership, such as a City approved sign bearing the community group's name in the Park for the period of time stipulated in the agreement.
  4. Start helping to improve our parks and programs! 

Other ways to get involved:

Commissions & Committees

The Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities commissions and committees compose a formal system through which citizens can advise City Council on issues affecting the City. All meetings open to the public. Position vacancies are advertised in the local newspapers and through civic associations. Applicants for commission and committee vacancies may obtain application forms and additional information by calling 703.746.4800 or by visiting the Office of Communications and Public Information.

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The Adopt-a-Park program is a cooperative venture between the State of Virginia, the City of Alexandria, and Alexandrian citizens to improve the appearance and condition of Alexandria’s small urban parks and open spaces.

Community groups monitor and clean up their park at least once a week from April through November. City officials visit these parks once a month and award points based on the park’s condition. At the season’s end, cash awards are made to participating groups based on the points earned. Community groups can use the awards to fund their own activities or donate them towards park improvements such as benches, additional play equipment, drinking fountains, and landscaping.

How do participants benefit?

  • Adopt-a-Park provides citizens an opportunity to volunteer and improve their park and environment. Your organization can benefit through an increased sense of ownership and involvement in your community. The once-a-month inspections lead to cash awards at the end of the season.

Who can participate?

  • Permanently established community or public organizations, businesses, or government entities within the City of Alexandria can participate. Groups will need a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) to receive the monetary award at the end of the season.

How do I get my group involved?

  • Submit an Adopt-A-Park Volunteer Application to the Department of Recreation, Parks, and Cultural Activities for review and a Department representative will contact you shortly. Applications may be mailed, emailed, or faxed to: 

Department of Recreation, Parks & Cultural Activities
Attn: K. Charlotte Nourse, Park Manager
Park Operations Division
2900-A Business Center Dr.
Alexandria, VA 22314
703.746.4645 (O)
703.746.4668 (F)

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Recreation Center Advisory Councils - A Way to Get Involved

  • Charles Barrett Recreation Center
    3rd Tuesday at 6:30 pm
    Call 703.746.5551 for information.
  • Charles Houston Recreation Center
    3rd Wednesday at 7 pm
    Call 703.746.5552 for information.
  • Cora Kelly Recreation Center
    3rd Wednesday at 7 pm
    Call 703.746.5554 for information.
  • Mount Vernon Recreation Center
    3rd Wednesday at 7 pm
    Call 703.746.5556 for information.
  • Nannie J. Lee Memorial Center
    2nd Monday at 7 pm
    Call 703.746.5550 for information.
  • Patrick Henry Recreation Center
    2nd Tuesday at 7 pm
    Call 703.746.5557 for information.
  • William Ramsay Recreation Center
    3rd Wednesday at 6:30 pm
    Call 703.746.5558 for information.

Meeting dates and times are subject to change. Please call the recreation center in your neighborhood or visit for additional information.

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Alexandria Commission for the Arts

The Alexandria Commission for the Arts is seeking volunteers with expertise in dance, literature, music, theatre and visual arts to serve on Resource Panels. In addition, the Commission is seeking volunteers to serve on the Alex Awards, Film Festival, Arts Education, Marketing, and the Business and the Arts Committees. Volunteers who serve on Committees assist the Alexandria Commission for the Arts in advancing the organization's goals, objectives and strategies. For additional information, click here.

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