Department of Parks and Recreation Inclement Weather Policy

Updated Jan. 6, 2020

DPR coordinates with Department of Libraries (LIB), and Arlington Public Schools (APS) to make decisions regarding inclement weather and may, at times, make decisions that are inconsistent with this policy.

The safety of our participants and staff is our number one priority. DPR reserves the right to cancel scheduled activities if the forecast warrants.

In the event of snow and/or ice accumulation resulting in unsafe road, sidewalk and parking lot conditions, DPR will proceed as follows:

If the Arlington County government is closed

  • All Departmental facilities are closed, and all programs cancelled.

If Arlington County Government is closed or has a delayed opening

  • Any Enjoy Arlington, 55+ Class and Trip, Summer Camp, Preschool or Snag registrations scheduled for that day will be postponed until the next business day at the same time originally scheduled.  (E.g.: If the first day of Summer Camp registration is scheduled for Wednesday, 2/12 beginning at 7 a.m. and the Arlington County Government has a delayed opening or is closed for the day, the registration will be moved to the next business day which, in this case would Thursday, 2/13)
  • The 55+ travel registration scheduled will be postponed until the next business day except for in-person registration. All in-person registrations are cancelled. Online and phone registration will proceed the next business day at the same time originally scheduled.

If Arlington Public Schools are closed and Arlington County Government is open, either on time or with a delayed opening

  • All Enjoy Arlington Classes, 55+ classes, sports activities, leagues and instructional programs scheduled in APS standalone buildings are cancelled.
  • Social 60+ Cafés located at Arlington Mill, Langston and Walter Reed will begin at 10 a.m.
  • All Early Childhood Programs (Preschool and Co-op) will begin at 10 a.m.
  • Enjoy Arlington classes (except for Gymnastics), 55+ classes and trips, nature center programs, sports activities, leagues and instructional programs in County or joint use facilities with start times of 9:59 a.m. or earlier are cancelled.
  • Enjoy Arlington classes (except for Gymnastics), 55+ classes and trips, nature center programs, sports activities, leagues and instructional programs in County or joint use scheduled to start at 10:00 a.m. or later will proceed as scheduled.
  • Gymnastic Classes scheduled to start prior to 11:59 a.m. or earlier are cancelled.
  • Gymnastic Classes scheduled to start at noon or later will proceed as scheduled.
  • All joint use centers (Carver, Drew, Gunston, Langston and Thomas Jefferson) will open as scheduled unless there is a later opening time announced based on weather conditions, status of snow removal or Arlington Public Schools have cancelled their custodians due to weather conditions.
  • All other community centers will open as scheduled or follow the County delay time.
  • Meetings and social events scheduled at the Hendry House at Fort C.F. Smith Park may be held as scheduled if weather conditions and snow removal efforts allow.  This decision will be made the DPR point of contact.

All the above also applies if the County Manager has declared that the unscheduled leave policy is in effect.  However, if there is not sufficient staff available for operating a facility or program, the appropriate Division Chief will make the determination regarding closing, in coordination with the DPR point of contact.

If Arlington Public Schools have a delayed opening and Arlington County government is open (either on time or delayed opening)

  • All Social 60+ Cafés will begin at 10 a.m.
  • All Early Childhood Programs (Preschool and Co-op) will begin at 10 a.m.
  • All Enjoy Arlington classes (except for Gymnastics), 55+ classes and trips, nature center programs, sports activities, leagues and instructional programs in County and joint use facilities scheduled to start prior to 9:59 a.m. are cancelled.
  • All Enjoy Arlington classes (except for Gymnastics), 55+ classes and trips, nature center programs, sports activities, leagues and instructional programs in County and joint use facilities scheduled to start at 10 a.m. or later will proceed as scheduled.
  • Gymnastics Classes scheduled to start prior to 11:59 a.m. are cancelled.
  • Gymnastics Classes scheduled to start at noon or later will proceed as scheduled.
  • All joint use centers will open as scheduled unless there is a later opening time announced based on weather conditions, status of snow removal or Arlington Public Schools have cancelled their custodians due to weather conditions.
  • All other community centers will open as scheduled or follow the County delay time.

If Arlington Public Schools close early or cancel evening activities and Arlington County Government remains open

  • All Enjoy Arlington classes, 55+ classes, sports activities, leagues and instructional programs scheduled in Arlington Public School buildings are cancelled.
  • All Enjoy Arlington classes, 55+ classes and Trips, sports activities, leagues and instructional programs held in County and joint use facilities will proceed as scheduled based on weather conditions and the status of snow removal.
  • DPR Teen Afterschool Programs will proceed as scheduled. However, program times may vary if the community center closes early.
  • A decision regarding Community Center Operations (including joint use facilities located at Drew, Carver, Gunston, Langston, and Thomas Jefferson) will be based on weather conditions and the status of snow removal.

Weekends and other days when Arlington Public Schools are not in session

  • For DPR programs in APS facilities, the decision to close facilities will be made by the Superintendent of Schools after a recommendation from the DPR and APS points of contact based on the best available information on current weather conditions, the forecast and snow removal efforts. The initial discussion will occur at approximately 5:30 a.m. with a decision announced by 6 a.m. If weather conditions or snow removal efforts are likely to change during the day, the decision to close may be for morning programs only. A subsequent decision about afternoon and evening programs (beginning after 1 p.m.) will be made by 11 a.m. As part of the decision regarding afternoon and evening activities, APS and DPR points of contact may agree to have a later call in the afternoon regarding evening events if there is some likelihood of improved weather and or snow removal for the evening. This decision will be made and announced prior to 3 p.m.
  • All decisions regarding DPR trips scheduled on Saturday and Sunday will be made a minimum of two hours prior to the scheduled departure.  DPR Point of Contact will notify the 55+ Travel Supervisor who will inform the trip participants directly.  Any trip cancellation will be posted on the DPR and County Inclement Weather cancellation pages and the DPR Inclement Weather hotline.
  • For programs and activities in County-owned facilities, the decision to close for all or part of the day will be made by DPR in consultation with appropriate Division Chiefs or their designee based on current weather conditions, the forecast and snow removal efforts. The timeframes for making these decisions will be consistent with those for APS facilities.
  • If there is substantial accumulation of snow or ice on Friday, the decision to cancel Saturday and or Sunday activities may be made on Friday if weather conditions and forecast warrant.
  • Meetings and social events scheduled at the Hendry House at Fort C.F. Smith Park may be held as scheduled if weather conditions and snow removal efforts allow. This decision will be made by the Parks and Natural Resources Division Chief or designee, in coordination with the DPR point of contact, based on the best available information on current weather conditions, the forecast and snow removal efforts.
  • Coordination of custodial services will be made between DPR and APS Facilities Management Staff regarding the five joint use community centers or head custodians of scheduled school facilities with notification to School Administration Voicemail for Inclement Weather decisions.

Notifications to the Public

This information will be placed on the Arlington County Government Emergency Weather Page and sent to DPR and Community Center eNews lists as well as the emails maintained in RecTrac for classes and fitness memberships held at that time. Information will also be posted on Facebook and Twitter as well a Center E-News blast. The information should also be announced in each center by posting on doors, through Voicemail, and on the Inclement Weather Hotlines.

Inclement Weather Hotline

All DPR closing information will be included on the DPR Inclement Weather Hotline, which is: 703-228-4715.