Charlottesville Department of Parks and Recreation

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The Charlottesville Department of Parks and Recreation was founded in 1933 to coordinate the many parklands that were being donated to the city. [1]

The department oversees 25 city parks and co-administers others including Darden-Towe Park with the Albemarle County Department of Parks and Recreation.

Arthur Dana Kasler became the director of the department on December 20, 2021 following the resignation of Todd Brown. [2]


Activities of the park system are overseen by the nine-member Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee, which meets on the first or second Tuesday of the month and has done so virtually during the pandemic.

City Council approved a policy allowing outside vendors to operate within parks on March 5, 2012. [3]

Previous directors


During segregation, the department offered programs for Black community members in both Tonsler Park and Washington Park. These programs were operated by Geneva K. Watson. [5]


On June 21, 2010, City Council agreed to purchase 3.33 acres from Region 10 for $20,000 which was to have been combined with other un-programmed parkland to create a new greenbelt trail along Meadow Creek[6].[dead link]

In April 2016, the city purchased 27 acres of land in Albemarle County to the west of Azalea Park with help from Dave Matthews and Coran Capshaw. The land had belonged to the Fornes family. [7]

On July 8, 2021, the newest park opened at the corner of Hardy Drive and 8th Street. This project was a priority of a neighborhood task force that in 2015 and funded through a Community Development Block Grant. [8]

Aquatic facilities

In the mid 2000's, the city operated two pools at Crowd Indoor Pool and Smith Pool. In July 2007, then-parks director Mike Svetz asked Council for a feasibility study on a plan to locate a new Boys and Girls Club at Buford Middle School. At the time, Svetz estimated the cost to repair both city pools was $6 million. On October 15, 2007, the study conducted by SMBW Architects was presented to Council. The idea was formed to demolish the existing Smith pool and build a new one at the same time as the new Boys and Girls Club. [9]

At the same time, the Piedmont Family YMCA sought land at McIntire Park for a recreation center and pool. At the same meeting, YMCA Board Chair Kurt Krueger said the YMCA would commit to building ten lanes and a dive pool. He said the nonprofit would also seek funding from Albemarle County and wanted $1.25 in capital funds from the city. [9]

See also


  1. Web. History of Parks and Grounds, Website, City of Charlottesville (via, retrieved January 4, 2021.
  2. Web. Charlottesville hires parks director, public works director, Sean Tubbs, News Article, Town Crier Productions, December 3, 2021, retrieved January 4, 2022.
  3. Web. Charlottesville City Council meeting minutes, .pdf, Council Chambers, City of Charlottesville, March 5, 2012.
  4. Web. [ Brown tapped as interim city parks and recreation director], Staff Reports, Daily Progress, Lee Enterprises, November 1, 2019, retrieved November 3, 2019. Print. November 1, 2019 page A3.
  5. Web. Two Hallowe'en Parties set for Negro Children, Daily Progress Digitized Microfilm, Lindsay family, October 28, 1949 Print. October 28, 1949 page 2.
  6. City of Charlottesville. Department of Parks and Recreation. Acquisition of 3.33 Acres of Land for Greenbelt Trails. By Brian Daly. Vol. City Council. June 21, 2010 Consent Agenda. Web. 21 June 2010. <>.
  7. Web. Partnership leads to key parkland purchase, Sean Tubbs, News Article, Charlottesville Tomorrow, retrieved January 2, 2017.
  8. Web. Charlottesville seeks contractor for 10th and Page park, Nolan Stout, Daily Progress, Lee Enterprises, September 29, 2021, retrieved July 5, 2021.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Web. Charlottesville City Council meeting minutes, .pdf, Council Chambers, City of Charlottesville, October 15, 2007.

External links

Charlottesville Department of Parks and Recreation