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How Do I

Questions are divided by category and answers are found by clicking on the question.


How do I find a park or facility?
We recommend doing a park search and selecting your criteria. This will provide you a list of what you might be looking for.
How do I get a RecCard?
If you or your family is new to the Tampa Parks and Recreation Department, you must first visit one of our facilities to create an account. Don't forget to bring the following with you:
  • Valid government issued identification
  • Copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, check stub, or other document that lists your address (must match address on the government issued identification)
  • Copy of birth certificate, school records, valid government issued identification, or medical records with the date of birth for each minor child in the household

Our staff will take this information and enter it into our RecTrac Registration Software and create an account for you. If you would like to access your account via Internet, be sure to provide a valid email address and let the staff know you would like your User ID and Password emailed to you. While you are there, you may also purchase your RecCard(s).

If you or your family already has an account with Tampa Parks and Recreation, all you need to do is log in to your account and click on memberships on the left column. Once there you can search for the appropriate pass, add it to your cart, and checkout.

Please note that your account must have the following for you to purchase a pass online:

  • Valid email address
  • Birthdate for the member for which you are purchasing the pass

What forms of payment do you accept?
  • Our center and aquatic facilities accept cash, check, and money order. Some locations are also now taking credit card payments (Visa, Mastercard, and American Express).
  • At our main office, marina, and gymnastics gyms we accept cash, check, money order, Visa, MasterCard, and American Express.
What is a RecCard?
A RecCard is an annual pass required to participate in most programs and activities offered by the City of Tampa Parks and Recreation Department. Additionally, the RecCard also has some great benefits: use of open gym, fitness rooms, open swim and computer lab at community centers, at no additional cost. Materials and supplies, memberships, camps, clinics, lessons, classes, and/or instructor-led programs may not be included.

We offer both individual and family RecCards for all ages to residents and non-residents. A family is defined as a maximum of two adults and dependent children under 18 years old residing in same household. For a list of fees for each RecCard please view our Fee Schedule.

What passes can I purchase/renew online?
Currently we allow established households to purchase or renew:
  • Annual RecCards, Family and Individual
  • Annual or Monthly Joe Abrahams Memberships
  • Annual or Seasonal Lap Swim Passes
Why do you need a copy of my child's birth certificate?
Parents with any youth under 18 years of age are required to bring in the child's birth certificate (or other valid government ID) in order to verify their age.
Why do you need to see a copy of my utility bill?
In order to establish your family as a household in our system, we require two forms of address identification, one being your valid government issued ID and the other is usually a utility bill. The purpose for requesting a utility bill is because we have different RecCard fees based on your residency. The address identification items assist us in determining your residency status.


Are there employment opportunities available at Tampa Parks and Recreation?
The City of Tampa is operating with hiring restrictions; however, there may be current employment opportunities available. Additionally, the Tampa Parks and Recreation Department begins taking applications for summer employment in February.
Can I apply for more than one position?
Yes; however each position requires a separate application. Therefore, we highly recommend that you register as a MyTampaGov member before you begin the application process. This will enable you to view and re-use information from previously submitted applications to complete and submit any future applications.

When completing your Supplemental Form for a summer seasonal position, you may indicate one or more positions that you would like to be considered for.

Do I need transportation?
Yes. All employees must have reliable transportation to and from work.
Do I need to bring anything with me when picking up my Pre-employment Drug Screening Test form or when I go to the Mass Drug Screen (seasonal employees)?
Yes, you are required to bring a valid government issued identification card, your signed original social security card (photocopies are not accepted), and the Direct Deposit form with requested documents. For more information on direct deposit, see the question below. (Your I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification form must be filled out on site.)
I put in my application to be a summer seasonal employee, but haven't heard anything. How do I find out the status?
Unfortunately, due to the large volume of applications we receive, only those selected for consideration will be contacted.
If I worked as a summer seasonal employee last summer, do I need to submit a new application to work this summer?
Yes. A new application must be submitted every year for summer seasonal positions.
If I'm interested in applying for a job, where do I go?
For information on how to apply for a permanent or summer seasonal position, we recommend you visit our Employment Opportunities webpage.
If I'm under 18, do I need my parent's permission to apply?
No; however parental consent is required for minors to complete the pre-employment drug screen test.
I've been hired to work for Tampa Parks and Recreation. Is direct deposit required?
Welcome to the team! Yes, all City employees must participate in the Direct Deposit program. An active checking and/or savings account is required for direct deposit. Applicants selected for employment are required to bring a "voided" check or letter from the bank when they are processing their pre-employment documents. If providing a letter from the bank, it must include the bank's routing number, your full name, and account number.
May I pick the facility I want to work at?
For a regular position, no. The position is assigned to a specific location where it is needed.

For a seasonal position, you may indicate a worksite preference on the Supplemental Form, but applicants are not guaranteed placement at the facility of their choice.

My contact information has changed. How can I get that updated?
If you have created a MyTampaGov account and put in your application, but have not been hired yet, you can update your address or phone numbers by logging on to your MyTampaGov page.

If you have been hired and your address or phone numbers has changed, please provide your updated information to our Employee Relations Division, 306 E. Jackson St., 7N, Tampa, Florida 33602. Additionally, you may fax your information to (813) 274-8365.

What is the minimum age requirement for employment?
The minimum age requirements are as follows:
  • Any regular position - 18 years or older and must have a high school diploma or GED equivalency
  • Summer Seasonal Lifeguard - 16 years or older
  • Summer Seasonal Recreation Leader - 18 years or older
  • Summer Seasonal Joe Abrahams Sports Camp youth positions - 16 years or older
Will I be provided any benefits or insurance?
Full-time permanent positions may receive benefits including insurance. Part-time permanent positions and all summer seasonal positions are covered under Worker's Compensation for any job related injuries, no other benefits are provided.

Additionally, part-time employees may apply for health and dental benefits through the City of Tampa at their expense.


Can I distribute or sell food at my event?
Yes. Food items should be served and prepared in a sanitary manner consistent with Florida Department of Health. Vendors selling any food items and persons wishing to give away food are required to be in compliance with the established Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation guidelines for Temporary Food Service Events and have all the appropriate business licenses and insurance. Anyone who serves food to the public at a temporary food service event needs a license. Food may not be stored or prepared at private residences.

Inspectors from the State of Florida may be in attendance at any event held within the City of Tampa. Food vendors are required to meet the minimum standards of the State and be prepared to purchase a temporary food service license from the inspector.

At least three business days prior to the scheduled event, the applicant must notify the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation of the following items:

  • Type of food service proposed
  • Time and location of the event
  • Complete list of food service vendor owners and operators participating
  • Current license number of each public food service establishment participating

Applicants may complete notification requirements by telephone at (850) 487-1395, in person at the appropriate district office or in writing. For more information, please review the Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation Guide to Temporary Food Service Events.

Do I need a permit for my event?
Yes. A Facility Use Permit is required for any event taking place in a city park that anticipates up to 199 participants/spectators to attend. A Special Events Permit is required for most temporary events with an estimated number of participants/spectators of 200 or more during any day of the event. For more information on planning your special event, visit the Special Event Coordination web site.
Do I need insurance for my event?
Maybe. Applicants may be required to provide a commercial general liability insurance policy with a limit of $1,000,000 per occurrence and a $2,000,000 general aggregate, naming the City of Tampa as additional insured depending on the nature of the event. If you need to purchase insurance for your event, please review our information on purchasing special event insurance.
How do I purchase Special Event Insurance?
For information on this, we recommend you review our information on purchasing special event insurance. Additionally, please provide the insurance agency with our instructions on the paperwork we require. If you still have questions, please contact our Special Events Office at (813) 274-8019.
What's happening in Tampa Bay?
Our calendar has the latest information on Parks and Recreation Department events. For additional information, we suggest checking out our Visitor Information Center.

Online Account

Can I create an account online?
Yes! We currently allow patrons to create an account online.
How do I know if I have an Online Account?
If anyone in your household has participated or reserved a facility with the Tampa Parks and Recreation Department in the past two years, you should already have an established household in our system. If you are still not sure, you may ask a staff member to check to see if you are in our system.
I have family members that need to be added/deleted from my household account.
Currently, you are required to come in if you would like to add a family member to your household. This is because of the proof of birthdate requirement.

If you have a family member that is no longer living in your home, you may notify a staff member in person or by phone. We will inactivate the member from your household.

I need my User ID and Password, how do I get it?
If you have forgotten your password, you may request it by email, under the Need User ID and/or Password section.
I need to change information on my Online Account, what do I need to do?
When you log into your Online Account, under the "My Account" tab, and "Change Household Data" you will be able to update your email address, phone number, and emergency contact information.

Currently, we do not allow patrons to update their address or family member information online.


Are Tampa Parks and Recreation programs open to non-residents?
Yes. Click here to determine if you are a resident.
Can I register for a program online?
That depends on the program. For various reasons, some programs are not available for registration on our website and require you go to that facility directly.

If a program is available online it will say "Available". Please note that all participants must be registered in our software system in order to register in our programs. Additionally, some programs require a RecCard, which can be purchased online after you create your online account.

Do you have scholarships available?
At this time we only have a limited number of scholarships available for Traditional Summer Camp programs through our Friends of Tampa Recreation. For more information, please contact your local community center.
How do I get a free tree?
You may request your free tree by email or by calling (813) 274-7733.
How do I register for a program?
We allow registrations online and in-person. However, we have certain registration periods for both online and in-person registrations as well as for city residents and non-city residents.

We strongly encourage you to register online during your assigned registration period as it can be accessed 24 hours a day, seven days a week at your convenience.

We also recommend that you access your account online or if new to our programs create an online account prior to a registration period to make sure you are familiar with the website and Rec Cards, if required, are valid through the duration of the program.

How does summer registration work?
We have four phases to registration. Phase one is for current, active after school participants. Phase two is for city residents to register, but only online. Phase three allows city residents to register both online and in-person. Lastly, phase four is open registration which means that both residents and non-residents can register online and in-person.

We strongly encourage you to register online during your assigned registration period as it can be accessed 24 hours a day, seven days a week at your convenience. Additionally, we recommend that you access your account online or if new to our programs create an online account prior to registration to make sure you are familiar with the website and Rec Cards are valid through the end of summer camp.

It's raining. Has my league game been cancelled?
The Athletic Office determines if games are called because of weather. Please call (813) 231-5270.
My child attends your after school. Do I have to sign him/her up for summer camp at that same location?
No. Our phase one priority registration for current, active after school participants is not location specific. For example, if a participant attends the after school program at Wellswood Center, they do not have to register for traditional Summer Camp at Wellswood to participate in phase one.

Keep in mind that Traditional Summer Camp locations that are currently not an after school program location are excluded from phase one and will begin registration during phase two. Currently this applies to Davis Islands/Freedman and Hunt.

What is the Tree-mendous Tampa Program?
It is a program that was actually established in 1997 by the Tampa Parks and Recreation Department to enhance neighborhoods and help sustain Tampa's urban forest and shade canopy. Request your free tree today!
When are your registration dates?
Registration dates will vary each year. However, we have three registration periods for all of our programs. Below are estimates on registration periods.
  • Summer: Late March/Early April
  • Fall/Winter (this includes after school): June
  • Winter/Spring: Late October/Early November

These periods do not apply to gymnastics and dance programs as they have their own registration schedule.

Reservations & Permits

Can I have a wedding ceremony in a park?
Our parks can provide a scenic backdrop to your special day, but if you are planning a large wedding or an extensive reception after the wedding, event is better suited for a church, reception hall or other large indoor facility. Our parks are more appropriate for weddings of less than 200 people.

The weather is always a factor in planning an outdoor wedding. You should be prepared for all conditions and plan accordingly. The Tampa Parks and Recreation Department does not offer alternative locations or rain dates to be used in case of bad weather.

Can I reserve a shelter online?
Not at this time; however, you may put in a request to reserve a shelter.
Can I reserve an athletic field?
Yes. If you would like to reserve an athletic field for youth and adult games, practices, or other athletic events, please contact the Athletic Office at (813) 231-5270.
Do I need a permit to prune or remove a tree?
That depends. The City's Construction Services Department issues all permits for tree pruning and removal when required. Here is a list of trees that do not require a permit for removal.
Do you offer discounted rates for non-profit organizations?
Tampa Parks and Recreation Department offers a discount on facility reservation rates to non-profit organizations currently registered in the State of Florida. Your organization must submit non-profit documentation with the application form, such as a 501(c)3. Groups considered to be non-profit include: religious institutions, civic organizations, public schools, parochial and private schools, and athletic associations. Discounts do not apply to damage deposits, application fees, and attendant fees.
How do I apply for a permit?
Complete the Facility Use Application and submit it to the Tampa Parks and Recreation Department in the prescribed timeframes listed in the "How far in advance do I need to apply for a permit?" question and email or fax to (813) 274-7744.

Please note: Submission of an Application constitutes a request to use park space or a city property for the purpose of an event and does not guarantee event approval.

How does my production company get a film permit in Tampa?
The Tampa Bay Film Commission can lead you through the process of getting the right permissions from various City Departments, whether you are planning to produce a music video, feature film, have a student project to complete, or are simply planning a still photography shoot.
How far in advance do I need to apply for a permit?
The sooner you submit an application, the better. All permit applications are accepted on a first come, first serve basis. You can apply for a permit a maximum of 365 days prior to the requested date; however, there are specific filing deadlines for various permits:
  • 30 days - Outdoor events with an anticipated attendance of 25 to 199 persons or for any building rental.
  • 60 days - Events with an anticipated attendance of 200 persons or greater and/or events requesting amplified sound (i.e., DJ, sound system with speaker) or entertainment equipment.
  • 90 days - Events taking place on city streets or Right of Way (i.e., festival, block party, fun run/walk, parade, etc.).
I'm getting married. Do you have any facilities I can reserve?
Congratulations! Yes, we have several facilities available to reserve for your special occasion.
Is a reservation required to use a picnic shelter?
No; however, availability may be limited during peak season times. Picnic shelters can be used on the first come, first serve basis, unless it is reserved. Reservations must be made a minimum of 3 business days in advance.

We have picnic shelters available throughout the city. Our more popular or major park locations (listed below) are reserved at our main office located at 3402 W. Columbus Drive, Tampa, Florida 33607. Office hours are from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. Before visiting our main office, we recommend you take a look at the park, find a shelter that will fit your group size, and submit a request to check availability.

Al Lopez Park
Ballast Point Park
Copeland Park
Cypress Point Park
Fred Ball Park Gazebo
Lowry Park
Macfarlane Park
Picnic Island Beach
Rowlett Park
Sulphur Springs Park

For any of our other locations not listed above, search our facilities and contact them directly.

May I hold my special event on a major holiday weekend?
You may be able to hold your event on a major holiday depending on the availability of law enforcement, event location, and conflicts with other events. Applications must be received at least 90 days in advance of the holiday to be considered. The Office of Special Events and the Tampa Police Department will make a determination if there are not enough resources to ensure public safety during any holiday period. Additional fees and personnel cost may apply.
What are the fees for having an event in a park?
The reservation fees and required deposit for an event vary depending on the size, scope, and the event components. In addition to reservation fees, there may be fees for other city services such as police, EMS, Fire Marshal, Solid Waste, etc. based on the size and details of the event.

Please note: Applicants may be required to provide a commercial general liability insurance policy with a limit of $1,000,000 per occurrence and a $2,000,000 general aggregate, naming the City of Tampa as additional insured depending on the nature of the event.

What happens if I need to cancel or postpone my special event?
If you cancel or postpone a scheduled event:
  • A minimum of 30 days prior to the first scheduled day (including move-in), you will be entitled to a complete refund excluding the application fee and deposit.
  • Less than 30 days prior to the first scheduled day (including move-in), you will not be issued a refund

However, if the event is canceled by the City of Tampa due to a declaration of a state of emergency, issuance of a tropical storm, hurricane warning, or warning of severe inclement weather by the county, you will receive a full refund.

The City of Tampa holds the right to cancel or postpone an event without prior notice for any condition affecting the public health or safety of the City or any condition that would place facilities, grounds or other natural resources at risk of damage or destruction if the event were permitted to take place.

What parks are available for reservations/rentals?
The majority of Tampa parks are available for rentals for a special event. However, the size and details of the event will determine whether a particular park is appropriate for your event.

  • For general reservation inquiries, please send us your inquiry via email.
  • For picnic shelter, gazebo, greenspace reservation request or to check availability, please send us your request via the Customer Service Center.
  • For our banquet halls: Ragan Center and Seminole Garden Center, please contact us through the Banquet Hall email request.
When do I have to get a reservation permit?
That depends. There are two types of park permits:
  • A Facility Use Permit is required for any outdoor activity with an anticipated attendance of 25-199 or for any rental of a building or community center.
  • A Special Event Permit is required for any outdoor activity with an anticipated attendance of 200 persons or greater and/or any outdoor activity requesting a sound amplification permit (i.e., DJ, sound system with speakers, etc).