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:

  • 1,800 acres of parkland
  • 68 parks
  • 56 playgrounds
  • 29 miles of paved trails
  • 10 recreation centers
  • 5 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.


Public recreation was started in Durham during 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. 2019 Awards
  2. 2018 Awards
  3. 2017 Awards
  4. 2016 Awards
  5. 2015 Awards
  6. 2014 Awards
  7. 2013 Awards
  8. 2012 Awards
  9. 2011 Awards
  10. 2010 Awards
  11. 2009 Awards
  • 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