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Parks and Recreation Centers

Washington, DC is recognized for its open spaces and beautiful park areas -- from Rock Creek Park that extends the length of the city to individual urban pocket parks. Residents and visitors alike enjoy the city's parks and open spaces which serve as community gatherings for neighborhood life.

Neighborhood recreation centers are close to home as well. The well-supervised centers are your gateway to a broad range of fun and challenging activities. They are safe zones for children and teens and offer the chance for families to enjoy special activities and events close to home. The city's network of recreation facilities also includes senior citizens centers, where residents over the age of 55 may take part in programs that challenge them to remain active and involved in the larger community. Three therapeutic recreation centers also provide a continuum of specialized services, including recreation therapy and leisure counseling, for individuals of all ages with physical, mental, social, and emotional limitations.

The DC Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) supervises and maintains area parks, community facilities, swimming pools and spray parks, and neighborhood recreation centers, as well as coordinates a wide variety of recreation programs including sports leagues, youth development, therapeutic recreation, aquatic programming, outdoor adventure, camping, and senior citizen activities.

With the new development in the Southwest Waterfront and Capitol Riverfront areas comes an influx of new residents and visitors and a renewed interest in city parks. For the first time in decades, the National Park Services, the Government of the District of Columbia and the National Capital Planning Commission are developing a comprehensive plan for Washington's park system with particular attention to parks in the city neighborhoods and along the riverfront. Visit the CapitalSpace website to read more.

Neighborhood Parks
Benjamin Banneker Park Circle and Fountain
(also known as Banneker Overlook)

10th and G Streets, SW, L'Enfant Promenade
Washington, DC 20024

The Banneker Overlook site is an eight-acre slope at the end of L’Enfant Promenade, an extension of 10th Street, S.W. The site is on a direct axis with the Smithsonian’s Castle Building and reaches down to Maine Avenue and the Southwest Waterfront. The site has views across the river to Arlington National Cemetery, the Pentagon and National Airport in nearby Virginia. While farther from the National Mall than the other sites, the park is a short walk from the L’Enfant Metro stop. The large site affords an opportunity for an inviting landscape. The name of the circle commemorates Benjamin Banneker, an African American astronomer and almanac author. In 1791, Banneker assisted in the initial survey of the boundaries of the District of Columbia.
Canal Park
200 M Street, SE
Washington, DC 20003

Canal Park is a new stunning urban park urban development on the site of the historic Washington Canal in the heart of DC's Capitol Riverfront neighborhood. Canal Park will transform a parking lot into a sustainable and green neighborhood gathering place and destination for the entire city. The Capitol Riverfront BID will be tasked with maintaining and programming the park. In 2009, the 3-acre site was cleared and planted with grass to create an event area and unofficial dog park until development commences in late 2010 and concludes in 2011.

Diamond Teague Park
100 Potomac Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20003

Diamond Teague Park is a 39,000 square-foot public plaza with water taxi and public piers located at the Anacostia River terminus of First Street and across from Nationals Park. Half of the landscaped park was completed in 2009 with the remainder of the public plaza to be completed when Florida Rock Properties' adjacent development, RiverFront on the Anacostia is completed. The new water taxi piers and public piers for canoes and kayaks are complete.

The park connects the ballpark to the riverfront, water taxi service and the Anacostia Riverwalk, a 20-mile network of trails. There are two piers — one for commercial vessels and another for non-motorized boats such as kayaks and canoes a restored pump house that will house the Earth Conservation Corps., floating wetlands and shoreline plantings. Earth Conservation Corps. is a nonprofit youth development and community service organization that focuses on restoring and cleaning the Anacostia River.

East Potomac Park - Hains Point
Ohio Dr. SW Washington, DC.
National Park Service: 202-426-6841

East Potomac Park is a 300+ acre peninsula park in Washington, D.C., located south of the Jefferson Memorial and the 14th Street Bridge; the southern end of the park is known as Hains Point. Separating the Washington Channel and the Potomac River, the park is home to:

On weekend mornings, the roads and paths of East Potomac Park are very popular with bicyclists, walkers, inline skaters, and runners. Ohio Drive, which runs the perimeter of East Potomac Park, is also part of the Marine Corps Marathon course. The park contains a lot of Washington's famous cherry trees (or sakura). Many of the trees in the park are of the cultivar 'Kanzan', as opposed to the Yoshino which is around the Tidal Basin and celebrated during the National Cherry Blossom Festival. The Kanzan cherries have a different appearance and bloom about two weeks after the Yoshino cherry, which means they are only beginning to bloom when the Festival ends.

East Potomac Park is most accessible by vehicle. Parking is available all around Ohio Drive and at several parking lots. There is no Metro stop very close to the park but with a brief walk riders can access the park via the Smithsonian Station and the East Basin Dr Bridge, or the L'Enfant Plaza Station and the footpath on the Francis Case Memorial Bridge (I-395).

Lansburg Park
Delaware Avenue between M and I Streets, SW
Washington, DC 20003

Lansburg Park was created during the Urban Renewal period in Southwest. The Urban Renewal Plan for Area C-1 involved the consolidation of several blocks (historically called squares in the L'Enfant plan) east of Delaware Avenue, from I (Eye) Street to M Street, and extending to the west side of South Capitol Street, from K Street to M Street. A superblock was created by vacating First Street from I (Eye) Street to M Street, and L Street from Delaware Avenue to Half Street, and K Street from Delaware Avenue to halfway between First and Half Streets.

Lansburgh is a multi-use park that includes two tennis courts, a central rectangular green area, and a pavilion that shelters picnic tables and performance stage.

  • Two tennis courts

National Mall and Memorial Parks
900 Ohio Drive, SW
For Visitor Information: 202-426-6841
Park Headquarters: 202-485-9880

Colloquially known as "The Nation's Backyard", the National Mall is a 300+ acre civic and recreational space that stretches west from the foot of Capitol Hill at the Ulysses S. Grant Memorial to encompass the Mall itself, the Washington Monument Grounds, the Tidal Basin area, and West Potomac Park before terminating at the steps behind the Lincoln Memorial. As such, several Metro stations provide ready access to the National Mall.

National Mall and Memorial Parks includes the following Icons:

as well as the following features for public activities and sports :

  • Five 60-foot ball diamonds
  • Eight 90-foot ball diamonds
  • Three multi-use rectangular fields

    The National Park Service is currently planning for the future of the National Mall. The project website -- National Mall Plan -- will provide progress updates and tell you about opportunities to be involved. The Trust for the National Mall, the official fund raising partner of the National Park Service for the National Mall, is dedicated to improving the National Mall for the American people and our many visitors from abroad.

Town Center Parks
The heart of Southwest includes a set of pocket parks. The Town Center Parks are situated at the corner of 6th and I Streets; at I and 4th Streets, between Christ Methodist Church and Westminster Presbyterian Church; and at the corner of 3rd and I Streets, next to the Southwest Public Library. The westernmost park occupies the former site of the Cow Alley residential community. Wallace, McHarg, Roberts and Todd, of Philadelphia, PA, designed the parks. Formerly federal, the parks are now administered by the DC Department of Parks and Recreation.

Town Center Park East
3rd and I Streets, SW
Washington, DC 200024

Town Center Park
4th and I Streets, SW
Washington, DC 20024

Town Center Park West
6th and I Streets, SW
Washington, DC 20024

Virginia Avenue Park
(also known as Virginia Avenue Community Garden)
901 Virginia Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20003

For almost six years, the Virginia Avenue Community Garden (VACG) has brought the neighbors and community south of the freeway together. Back in 2004, the parcel bordered by I-295, L Street, SE and 9th Street, SE, was a neglected lot of land belonging to the DC Department of Parks and Recreation. About fifty families have tirelessly worked to make the space a sustainable and organic garden that is an example to be imitated all over the city. What started as a vacant lot with poor soil and trash after years of being a factory site has been transformed bit by bit into a small oasis where gorgeous seasonal organic produce grows and feeds many; where anyone can take a break and even meditate walking down the zigzagging path; where it’s evident that the hard work and caring of an urban community have triumphed over the ugliness of a former industrial site; and a place where anyone walking by can enjoy “the pleasures of fresh organic fruit harvested and eaten straight from the tree,” as was eloquently stated in a letter that a few members of the community garden sent to Tommy Wells.
Waterside Parks
(Waterfront Promenade: Water Street, SW from 9th to 6th Streets and south to P Street)

The noted Modernist landscape architecture firm of Sasaki, Dawson & DeMay, of Cambridge, MA, designed a series of waterfront parks. The relocated Titanic Memorial, sculpted by Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, is at the southern terminus, just north of Ft. McNair. Other park sections, such as those at the intersection of Ninth Street and another west of Harbour Square, punctuate the waterside developments. Concrete is a dominant feature of these plazas. The parks are connected by the bulkhead walkway, or promenade, which was completed in 1972.

Waterside Parks - South Promenade north of Ft. McNair
Terminus end of Water Street, SW
Washington, DC 20024

Waterside Parks -- east of the Harbor Police Station
9th and Water Streets, SW
Washington, DC 20024

Waterside Parks at 9th Street
9th and Water Streets, SW
Washington, DC 20024

The Yards Park
10 Water Street, SE
Washington, DC 20003

This riverfront park provides green space to enjoy the outdoors along the river. It includes open grassy areas, a water feature, a terraced performance venue, biking/jogging trails and riverside places in which to eat and shop. The park is part of a larger Yards development that will blend adaptive reuse of historical industrial buildings with construction on new sites.

Public School Fields
The DC Department of Parks and Recreation oversees the playing fields located adjacent to Amidon Elementary School and Jefferson Middle School. Usage of these fields requires a permit when there will be more than 10 people for an hour or more, organized leagues or special events. Information about permits and usage can be found at DC Department of Parks and Recreation website under Permits and Reservations at Facilities and Permits: Permits and Reservations or call at 202-673-7449.

Amidon Elementary School
401 I Street, SW
Washington, DC 20024
  • One 60" ball diamond
Jefferson Middle School
801 - 7th Street, SW
Washington, DC 20024
  • One 60" ball diamond
  • Two tennis courts

Recreation Centers

King Greenleaf Recreation Center
201 N Street, SW
Washington, DC 20024

Hours of operation: Mon-Fri: 9:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Sat: 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Sun: closed

King Greenleaf is a state-of-the-art recreational center. The center has a large recreational field that is utilized for football, baseball, kickball, and football. King Greenleaf is located near the Navy Yard and Waterfront metro stations. King Greenleaf Recreation Center is ADA accessible; ID is required and senior programs are offered. Facilities include:

  • computer lab
  • fitness center
  • gymnasium
  • lighted athletic field with 60-foot diamond
  • two lighted half-court basketball courts
  • playground
  • two tennis courts
  • tot lot

Randall Recreation Center and Outdoor Pool
820 South Capitol Street, SW
(South Capitol and I Streets)
Washington, DC 20024
Office: 202-727-5504
Pool: 202-727-1420

Summer hours for outdoor pool facitilies:

June 21 - August 15:
Mon-Fri: 1:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Sat-Sun: 12:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Facilities include:

  • tot lot
  • 90-foot ball diamond
  • 60-foot ball diamond
  • playground
  • basketball court
  • three tennis courts
  • 25-yard long outdoor swimming pool. Swimming pool is open from early June to mid-August. Free to D.C. residents.

Senior Service Recreation Center
Capper's New Community Center
5th Street, SE between K and L Streets
Washington, DC 20003

The new community center, replacing the former one at 5th and K Streets, addresses the social and educational needs of residents, and includes the construction of an 18,000 square-foot building, and a new public park to be constructed adjacent to the site.

King Greenleaf Recreation Center
201 N Street, SW
Washington, DC 20024

Hours of operation: Mon-Fri: 9:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Sat: 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Sun: closed

The Senior Services Division of the DC Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) provides seniors across the District, including the King Greenleaf Recreation Center, with interesting and fun opportunities for social interaction, individual development, and interaction with neighborhoods and communities through regular programs and special events throughout the year. Many of Senior Services programs also provide a strong emphasis on wellness and fitness through creative health and exercise programs. For further information including the Golden Olympics, contact the Senior Services Division of the DC Department of Parks and Recreation at 202-664-7153.
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