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Overview of Bristol Parks and Recreation Department


In order to meet our mission and administer the best quality services in the most efficient way, the department is organized into 4 operational divisions including: Administration, Parks Maintenance, Recreation, and Aquatics. The professional staff consists of 24 full-time employees and more than 200 part-time seasonal employees. Policy is set by a 7 member Board of Park Commissioners.

Administration is responsible for developing a fiscally responsible department budget that meets the changing and dynamic needs of the community. Administration provides stewardship to the many benefactors of the Parks and Recreation Department which include 8 trust and endowment funds, as well as, the Friends of Bristol Parks and Recreation Fund through the Main Street Community Foundation.

Parks, Grounds and Maintenance division is responsible for over 730 acres of park land which includes two major active parks with over 100 acres each, eight neighborhood parks, a lighted stadium, an indoor aquatics facility, a veteran’s memorial park, and four open space, passive parks. The division is responsible for the upkeep of park amenities including 3 water spray parks, 14 tennis courts (5 lighted), 6 lighted sand volleyball courts, 1 modified pickle ball court, 7 fishing areas, 2 horseshoe pits, 2 bocce courts, 6 basketball courts, 6 pre-school playscapes, an ADA compliant accessible playground, para-fitness course, 4 baseball diamonds, 6 (3 lighted) softball diamonds, jogging path, metered walking path, hiking trails, 2 eighteen hole disc golf courses, 2 off-leash dog park, and a skatepark plaza.

Recreation division is responsible for administering hundreds of recreational programs and special events throughout the year. A variety of programs are offered; serving the varied interests of Bristol residents from pre-school to senior citizens. This includes popular summer camps, sports clinics, arts instruction, Summer Concerts, Santa Land Village, and much more. Recreational programs increase physical, social, and emotional wellness and serve to enhance community spirit, as well as, the quality of life for every resident. The division also coordinates with dozens of non-profits, sports organizations, and civic groups that utilize park space for events including the Mums Festival, West End Association Summer Festival, and Veterans organizations - drawing thousands of visitors into the city each year.

Aquatics division is responsible for the oversight of the Dennis Malone Aquatics Center and two outdoor park pools at Page and Rockwell. The division offers seasonal memberships and daily passes to thousands of patrons annually. An extensive American Red Cross Learn to Swim program is offered at all 3 facilities; annually teaching thousands of Bristol youth this critical life skill. In addition, the division offers water fitness programs, training classes, recreational swim teams, special events, and more. The Dennis Malone Aquatics Center is also host to BCHS/BEHS Swim Teams, St. Paul and Lewis Mills Swim Teams, private rentals and Bristol Hospital for water therapy.