About Us

View of Mt. Hood from LeRoy Haagen Park

The City of Vancouver has a strong legacy of parks, natural areas and recreation dating back to the dedication of Esther Short Park back in 1853. Since then, the community's resources have grown dramatically. The Vancouver Parks and Recreation Department serves a city with diverse recreational interests and a strong environmental ethic.

Mission and Community Goals

Our mission is to meet community needs by providing an interconnected system of parks, trails, recreation facilities and diverse recreational programs and opportunities.

  • Provide diverse recreational opportunities for all residents
  • Be effective stewards of the land
  • Maintain and enhance existing parks and recreation facilities
  • Create a dynamic and effective organization
  • Acquire adequate funding to meet these needs
  • Build strong partnerships in the community
  • Reflect the community we serve

More information on the City of Vancouver Parks and Recreation department's guiding principles can be found in the 2014 Vancouver Comprehensive Parks, Recreation and Natural Areas Plan.

Awards and Accolades

Recreation and Community Enrichment

Firstenburg Community Center: includes a cafe, climbing wall, event venue with outdoor patio, fitness center, gymnasium, indoor walking track, pool and spa.
Marshall/Luepke Community Center: includes a community park and garden, multiple event venues, fitness center, gymnasium, pottery studio and pool (currently under construction).
Vancouver Tennis Center: includes nine indoor courts, four outdoor courts, fitness equipment and elevated viewing area.
Day Camps for Youth: including Little Campers, SPARK Youth, Youth Adventures and Teen Camp.
Fifty and Better Activities: including SilverSneakers® and Silver&Fit® endorsed fitness classes, weekly hikes and dances, monthly trips and several clubs and activities.
Programs for Persons with Disabilities: including Access to Recreation, Inclusion Services and Sensory Camp.

Parks, Trails and Natural Areas

Today, the City of Vancouver serves the community with approximately 1,600 acres of parkland at 113 sites which includes 90 parks and 20 miles of trails plus numerous natural areas.

Planning and Acquisition: Before a park comes to be, we must lay the groundwork for getting there through maintaining and renovating existing resources, acquiring land and developing needed facilities.

Park Design and Development: Review the Master Plan process, see classifications for parks and our funding sources.

Search our Interactive Parks and Trails Map and Directory

Special Features in Parks: Community Gardens, Disc Golf in Leverich Park, Skateboarding & BMX Bicycling and Sports Fields

From Fort Vancouver to Today