Mission: Our mission is to enrich the lives of the residents of Los Angeles by providing safe, welcoming parks and recreation facilities and affordable, diverse recreation and human services activities for people of all ages to play, learn, contemplate, build community, and be good stewards of our environment.
Vision: Our vision is to provide affordable recreational, physical, and cultural opportunities for all of Los Angeles residents, with a focus on families, youth development, and building healthy communities. The programs and services offered by the Department will provide excellent value and quality and emphasize the equitable distribution of resources throughout the City. We will offer these programs in safe, attractive, and well-maintained facilities that will reflect the public’s needs and interests.
A Department of Parks was included in the City of Los Angeles’s first Freeholder Charter, adopted in 1889. Placed under its jurisdiction were parks and public land that had been set aside for the perpetual use of the community in the original Spanish land grants. Parks on this land are now called the Plaza, Pershing Square, and Elysian Park. Griffith Park was given to the City in 1896. Los Angeles established the first municipal Playground and Recreation Department in the United States in 1904. The City’s first playground was opened the next year. A Charter amendment adopted in 1947 consolidated the Department of Parks and the Department of Playgrounds and Recreation into the Department of Recreation and Parks, combining facilities and services of both.