General Information

The Virginia Recreation and Park Society is a private, non-profit professional organization, founded in 1953 and incorporated in 1956.  Its purpose is to unite all professionals, students, and interested lay persons engaged in the field of recreation, parks and other leisure services in the Commonwealth of Virginia, into one body.  The members work together to promote and improve the profession in all its diversity.  VRPS is affiliated with the National Recreation and Park Association.



Regional Service Areas

VRPS Membership is divided into five geographical areas.  The regional service areas are: Central, Eastern, Northern, Southwestern and Western.  Each regional service area sponsors meetings, workshops, special events.

Service Area Map


VRPS Goals

Provide and encourage continuous training opportunities for members; Improve recreation, parks, and leisure services to the public; Update members on current trends and opportunities in the profession; Disseminate information on the public through use of publications and media; Maintain current academic curriculum; Involve interested citizens in advisory, participatory, and volunteer efforts supportive of parks, recreation, and leisure services programs in the Commonwealth of Virginia; Maintain a professional register of qualified recreation and park personnel.

VRPS Membership Benefits

One of the most frequent benefits cited for belonging to VRPS is "professional interaction."  Workshops, conferences, and involvement at committee and board levels provide valuable training and the opportunity to see what other people in leisure services are doing. VRPS provides publications on current trends, job opportunities, awards and scholarships. VRPS provides an on-line membership directory that will put you in touch with members throughout the state. VRPS offers professional special recognition, incentive, and credit for innovative projects and services to the society. VRPS provides discounts on workshops and conference registrations.

VRPS Specialty Resource Groups

Membership in VRPS entitles you to an affiliation with any of the five specialty resource groups.  The specialty resource groups are:  Therapeutic Recreation, Aquatics, Park Operations, Special Events and Marketing,  and Seniors.  Each Specialty Resource Group works toward the advocacy of the professional's area of expertise.

VRPS Committees

In an effort to serve the variety of needs for parks and recreation, VRPS operates with assistance from committees consisting of individual members.  The Enterprise Groups are:  Annual Conference, Awards and Citations, Leadership Training Institute and Management Conference.

VRPS Annual Conference

Each year VRPS members and friends gather for the Annual Conference.  This educational exchange provides an opportunity for professionals to discuss trends and areas of common interest.  Major speakers highlight the conference in addition to dozens of topical sessions.  In addition to the educational aspects, the Conference provides the opportunity for networking and award recognition.

VRPS Exhibit Hall

The Exhibit Hall gives the delegates an opportunity to meet with various commercial vendors that provide services and/or products to the Parks and Recreation field.

Code of Conduct for VRPS Events

  • Attendees, presenters, vendors, and staff at VRPS events are expected to conduct themselves at all times in a courteous, professional, and respectful manner.
  • Attendees are required to abstain from behavior that reflects poorly on their agency, the Virginia Recreation & Park Society, and the membership.
  • Attendees, presenters, vendors and staff are permitted alcohol use when the individual (a) is of legal age; (b) does not engage in excessive consumption of alcohol; (c) remains professional and respectful at all times; (d) makes responsible arrangements for transportation; and (e) complies with all applicable laws related to alcohol use and personal conduct.
  • Attendees, presenters, vendors, and staff who do not comply with this code of conduct at any event may be removed from said event and barred from attending all future VRPS- sponsored or co-sponsored events.

What Can You Do For VRPS?

First, become a member. Then… Interact with other persons in the profession. Visit the VRPS Headquarters and get acquainted with the staff. Volunteer to assist with special projects and serve on committees. Encourage others to join VRPS and take part in the process. Attend VRPS sponsored meetings, workshops, seminars, and the Annual Conference. Be willing to share your talents and expertise. Remember there is strength, power, and influence in numbers, therefore it is vital that your membership is kept current.