Park Operations

The preservation, stewardship, and sustainability of City's parks, open spaces, and natural resources are central to RPCA’s mission and important goals of its operations and environmental management practices.

Page updated on Feb 24, 2020 at 9:50 AM

Park Operations

City Arborist & Tree Maintenance

The Urban Forestry Section of the Department of Recreation, Parks, and Cultural Activities is responsible for the management of the urban forest on public lands within the City of Alexandria, as well as working with other landowners to plant trees and increase tree canopy cover on private property.  

Community Gardens

Community Gardening is one way that the City is helping to increase Alexandria residents’ access to locally grown, environmentally sustainable foods as part of the  Healthy Food Alexandria initiative

Environmental & Sustainable Management System

As part of the “Eco-City Alexandria” initiative, and consistent with its mission, RPCA developed an “Environmental Sustainability Management System (ESMS).”

Facility Maintenance & Mowing

  • Mowing Operations
  • Winterization
    The City of Alexandria, to minimize the risk of freeze damage to park infrastructure, shuts down irrigation systems, water fountains and certain restroom facilities annually. Winterization begins in the last week of October and continues through November. Systems are returned to operating conditions beginning in late march through April. The following systems are winterized annually:
    • All park and facility irrigation systems
    • All park and facility outdoor water fountains
    • Potomac Yard Interactive Fountain
    • Restrooms located at A. L. Boothe Park; Minnie Howard Athletic Fields; and the Fort Ward Park (rear facility)
      • Restrooms Open Year-Round: Eugene Simpson; Joseph Hensley; Ben Brenman; Witter ; and Limerick Parks/Athletic Facilities

Natural Resource Management

Safety Inspections

City staff ensure park facilities are hazard free and meet safety standards through regular inspections. Impact testing (commonly referred to as g-max testing) measures the shock-attenuation performance of sports and playground surfaces. Measuring impact-attenuation is a fundamental tool of athletic field (synthetic & natural) and playground surfacing (synthetic and natural) safety testing.

FY 2019 G-Max Testing Summary Results

Trash & Recycling Management Program in Parks 

To improve aesthetics, safety, and efficiency, many trash and recycling cans are located at park entrances and parking areas. In coordination with the Department of Transportation & Environmental Services, cans are placed near park entrances for the following reasons:

  • The City’s trash collection vehicles pose a danger to park-users when these vehicles are driven on pedestrian sidewalks and trails. 
  • Collection vehicles damage lawns and turf when driven “off-road”.
  • Remote trash cans located away from entrances and parking areas must often be serviced “on foot” and are hard to see from a distance which extends collection time even when many trash cans are empty.  
  • This supports the National Park Service’s philosophy that park visitors should “leave no trace; pack it in, then pack it out.” 

The collection schedule is indicated on the side of each trash and recycling can. Learn more about the Resource Recovery Program.

Your feedback is always welcome by calling 311 or  703.746.4311 or online at