Formalized in 1954 the department was staffed by 1 full-time director and part-time employees and park property owned by the City was a tiny 1.5-acre parcel. What a difference 65 years makes? The department has grown to employ 48 full-time and 75+ part-time staff members and park property has swelled to over 650 acres. This growth developed with a vision for the future and to position the department for continued success in meeting the needs and expectations of those in the Community.
To celebrate our department's past and the staff members who served the community by preserving green spaces and providing recreational opportunities over the past 65 years, staff has organized a 65th Anniversary Kick Off Celebration event along with activities and projects to continue through the entire year!
65th Anniversary Kick Off Celebration- June 1, 2019 at 11:00am
June 1, 2019 marks the 65th Anniversary of Harrisonburg Parks and Recreation! Join us at the Community Activities Center at 11:00am as we honor Cecil F. Gilkerson, the first Director of Parks and Recreation. Experience activities that have been played over the past 65 years including Knuckleball, Knock Hockey, board games, and more! We will also be ding raffle giveaways every 30 minutes! There will also be a time capsule for people to bring their small memory or photo to the event, so that it may be buried in July 2019! Ice cream will be available for purchase from Kline's Dairy Bar ice cream truck. Admission to the event is free. Westover pool and new splash pad will be open for the day.
65th Anniversary Time Capsule
Consolidating photos and information from the past 65 years has been a very enjoyable process for parks staff and has inspired us to come up with a unique way to capture information for Harrisonburg Parks and Recreation staff and the community to utilize in the future. We hope to capture all the great projects and experiences happening now in Harrisonburg Parks by encouraging the community to bring a Harrisonburg Parks and Recreation related photo or small memory to place in our Time Capsule at our 65th Anniversary Kick Off Celebration taking place June 1 at 11:00am. If you cannot make it to the Kick Off Celebration and would like to participate, bring your small memory to the Cecil F. Gilkerson Community Activities Center front desk at 305 S Dogwood Drive, Harrisonburg. Submissions will be collected all year until June 2020. For questions, contact Brittany.Clem@HarrisonburgVA.gov.
65 Mile Fitness Challenge
To kick-off July Parks and Recreation Month, and in honor of the 65th Anniversary of Harrisonburg Parks and Recreation, we have decided to expand our 50 Mile Challenge to a 65 Mile Challenge!
Beginning July 1 and ending September 30, participants of all ages and abilities can work toward meeting their fitness goals. All you must do is track your time participating in any Harrisonburg Parks and Recreation fitness/health related programs or spend some time (1 hour= 1 mile) being active at one of our parks or facilities. There is no charge to participate in this program. The first 40 participants to complete and turn in their challenge forms will receive a one of a kind 65 Mile Challenge t-shirt! A printable log sheet as well as a link to track miles online will be emailed to all registered participants on July 1.
Check out our List of Approved Activities [441KB]!
To register, contact Ali Routzahn at Alexandra.Routzahn@HarrisonburgVA.gov, or call 540-433-2474. Participants may register at any time, but the deadline to complete the challenge will not be extended.
Check out more 65th Anniversary of Harrisonburg Parks and Recreation activities and promotions throughout the year on our Facebook page!