You're logged in with MyAlex  |  Logout
open mobile menu close mobile menu

PARKnerships with RPCA

The PARKnership Program oversees partnerships, sponsors, volunteers, and donations for the development, design, construction and operation of recreational and park facilities and/or programs with the intent to support the Department of Recreation, Parks, and Cultural Activities’ goal for a healthy and thriving City of Alexandria.

Page updated on May 1, 2019 at 12:32 PM

Alexandrians have a strong sense of civic pride and desire to connect with their neighbors. This is most evident when individuals and groups work together to enhance the facilities and programs they enjoy. Whether it's through the dedication of time or monetary resources, when residents collaborate with the City they ultimately create a higher level of service and strengthen their connection to the community as a whole.

PARKnerships coordinates these efforts under a single umbrella aiming to cultivate sustainable support, volunteers, and partnerships in alignment of the Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities' goal for a healthy and thriving City of Alexandria.


Many city programs and events need volunteer support to provide services to residents.  Volunteers are valued members of the community who provide and produce tremendous value to the City. Some of the many opportunities include sports program coaches, event set-up, naturalists, park clean ups, and invasive species removal.

Visit to sign up or seek opportunities.


The Adopt-a-Park program is a cooperative venture between the State of Virginia, the City

of Alexandria, and community groups 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. The organizations frequently use the award funds for park improvements such as benches, additional play equipment, drinking fountains, and landscaping. The project is funded annually by the State of Virginia Litter Prevention and Recycling Grant and the City of Alexandria. 

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. 


The adopt-a-garden program is a cooperative venture between the City of Alexandria and community groups. Through an agreement with the City, an individual, community, or group commits to maintaining an existing garden located on public property for a minimum of two years. A sign bearing the adopting group or individual's name will be placed in the garden. This does not apply to the community garden plot program. Click here to apply.

The organization will be responsible for:

  • Designing a maintenance plan for a garden to be approved by the City Horticulturist
  • Installing plantings according to the approved design 
  • Keeping the garden weed-free
  • Cutting back & mulching the garden in appropriate seasons
  • Removing litter and debris
  • Watering the garden as needed
  • Reporting dead, damaged, and diseased plants to the City Horticulturist
  • Providing a monthly progress form to the City Horticulturist


As an individual, group or business, provide a one-time or on-going donation of money or time/labor and other applicable resources to the Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities. This may include sponsorship with a quid pro quo agreement such as a logo on a park sign or recreation program materials.  

Living Landscape Fund

Submit a monetary or in-kind donation to support your favorite Neighborhood Park, recreation center, program, and or field.  You can specify where you would like your donation to go and watch the donation enhance the area of your choice.   Donate a gift as an individual or organization and support your City.  Click here to make a donation now! 


A partnership is a cooperative venture between two or more parties with a common goal such as partners for park and recreation facilities or program improvement.  The partnership organization should be well representative of the surrounding communities who use the park or program. While developing a partnership, the organization should work closely with park management to understand the specific needs of the park or program and how they can best assist in meeting those needs. Once a groups submits a proposal, staff will work with them to draft a Community Group Agreement. The agreement will stipulate the administrative framework including both the group and city responsibilities, expectations, project costs, and site boundaries. Click here to get started on a partnership application. For additional information, contact Lucresha Murphy, PARKnership Manager, at or 703.746-5489.

RPCA thanks the following partners who make a big difference in our park and recreation facilities and programs:


Adopt a Bench The Alexandria Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities offers the community a personal opportunity to honor a friend or loved one by adopting a bench at one of our parks. When you adopt, City Staff will install a personalized plaque on either an existing or a new park bench.

The plaques take about 8 weeks for production and installation, You can write the plaque inscription yourself or let the recipient write their own.

Full payment must be received before you can reserve a bench.

Multiple donors may contribute through honorary or memorial funds.

Bench adoptions are fully tax-deductible, and payment can be made by check, or credit card. 


  • Add plaque to existing bench: $800
  • Install new black steel bench without a plaque: $1,400
  • Install new black steel bench with a plaque: $1,600
  • Install new wood bench without a plaque: $1,875
  • Install new wood bench with a plaque: $2,175

All new benches require on-site placement consultation with park staff.

To adopt a bench, please first consult with Lucresha Murphy to identify a location. We are happy to provide maps of any of your preferred locations and/or meet with you on site.

The Community Matching Fund

The Community Matching Fund leverages collaborative community partnership opportunities with the City that expand and improve the quality of recreation, park, and cultural experiences. The Fund provides matching 1:1 dollars (up to $25,000 of City funds) for groups that propose fundraising for park and recreation facility improvement projects. The Fund fosters public/private partnerships and cultivates innovative ways for residents to have a greater stake in improving the park and recreation facilities that they use. More information...

Fiscal Year 2019 Awardees:   

  1. Project: Powhatan Park Improvements
    Applicant: Northeast Old Town Civic Association
    Description: This project will replace the thorny shrubs with a low maintenance, hardy shrubs. The new shrubs will not only beautify the Park and remove the safety hazard, it will make the Park more likely to be used for social gatherings and safe play. Per community feedback, removing the thorny shrubs is consistent with the Neighborhood Park Improvement Plan (2016), NECA will work with the Sheriff's Department to remove the existing shrubs and volunteers in the community plant new shrubs. The City match will include purchase and installation of two picnic tables, a water meter and fountain, and two park benches.
    Amount from city: $22,500
    Amount from organization: $5,000 + 2,000 volunteer hours
    Project Total: $45,000
  2. Project: Monticello Park Improvements
    Applicant: Alexandria Country Day School
    Description: Alexandria Country Day School (ACDS) proposes to work with the City of Alexandria to inventory the tree and plant species, add educational signage regarding trees and birds, clean the stream bed, and make improvements to the picnic area, such as additional seating, at Monticello Park by involving current ACDS students, alumni, local birders, and the neighboring community. ACDS’ science department would direct the research portions of the project as part of its middle school science curriculum. Second grade students study habitats and biomes, and they spend a unit focusing on birds and can expand their focus to the birds in Monticello Park. Working with guidelines from the City, the lower school and middle school students will design signage identifying the trees and describing their role in the ecosystem. 
    Requested amount from city: $5,000
    Amount from organization: $4,000 + 40 hours of volunteer time
    Project Total: $10,000
  3. Project: Simpson Triangle
    Applicant: Simpson Triangle Improvement Group
    Description: This project will improve the vacant parcel at the corner of Bellefonte and Route One by adding trees, meadow plantings, wildflowers, paths, and group boulders for seating. The objective is to experience nature and enjoy relaxing outdoor activities as passive addition to Simpson Park, provide a natural habitat for wildlife, and create a more pleasant walk for commuters from the Route One bus to Del Ray. It is consistent with the 2014 Simpson Park Improvement Plan.
    Requested amount from city: $22,500
    Amount from organization: $22,500
    Project Total: $45,000
  4. Project: Lee Center Playground Improvements
    Applicant: Kelley Cares
    Description: The playground has not been updated since it was built in 2004 and lacks many features that would make it truly accessible for people of all abilities to use, especially for those in wheelchairs. This project proposes the addition of tactile walls, a refreshed play surface, widened walkways, wheelchair ramps, and new playground equipment that would help to modernize the space, making it more useful for participants of the Therapeutic Recreation Program and beyond. The refreshed playground would also help tie in the Ruthanne Lodato Memorial Playground which was put into place in 2015, making it a larger and fuller playground experience.
    Requested amount from city: $22,500
    Amount from organization: $22,500
    Project Total: $45,000
  5. Project: Ramsay House Garden Renovation
    Applicant: The Garden Club of Alexandria
    Description: The Ramsay House Visitor Center for the City of Alexandria welcomes many tourists and residents at the house and garden daily, and is the gathering place for tours in Old Town. The 1956 garden design is in need of renovation and has fallen into disrepair. Ramsay House employees approached The Garden Club of Alexandria asking for assistance in renovating the garden. The plan creates an accessible pathway from the North Fairfax Street entrance and brick terraces with additional seating, including five benches and a stone seat wall. These improvements, along with new plantings, a water fountain, cell phone charging station, and historical well marker, will better serve the functional needs of the thousands of people who use the Visitors Center each year, and will create an oasis for residents of Alexandria and an educational opportunity for Alexandria school students.
    Requested amount from city: $22,500
    Amount from organization: $84,000
    Project Total: $106,500
  6. Project: Hunter/Miller Park Improvements
    Applicant: Hopkins House
    Description: This project would retrofit the playground to include play equipment for children ages 2-5. This would allow the Hopkins House Helen Day Preschool Academy students as well as young kids in the neighborhood to safely use the park. 
    Requested amount from city: $6,618
    Amount from organization: $6,618
    Project Total: $13,237


    Other Ways to Get Involved

    Open Space Fund

    Make a donation to our open space fund to help acquire and sustain open space. More Information... 

    RPCA Commissions

    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.

    Recreation Center Advisory Councils 

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