NYC Parks to reduce recreation center membership fee for veterans and people with disabilities

NYC Parks, in partnership with the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities, the Mayor’s Office of Veterans’ Affairs, the City Council, and various advocacy and stakeholder groups, today announced its proposal for new recreation center membership rates for veterans and people with disabilities.

Presently, NYC Parks offers affordable membership rates at recreation centers citywide, with annual memberships as low as $100 for adults, $25 for seniors and young adults, and free memberships for youth under the age of 18. The proposed membership fee for veterans and people with disabilities is $25 and would serve to:

  • Enhance recreational opportunities for veterans and individuals with disabilities at NYC Parks’ recreation centers and address public health and the needs of these individuals by creating a membership fee category for these groups.
  • Honor our veterans by ensuring they can enjoy affordable access to opportunities to stay healthy and active members of our community.
  • Ensure individuals living with a disability can enjoy the accessible amenities and adaptive programming offered at our recreation centers.
  • Provide greater access to the opportunities for social engagement, community, and healthy exertion provided by Department’s recreation centers.
  • Complement New York City’s Young Men’s Initiative and other key programs expanding the recreational opportunities offered by New York City.

The proposed rule change language is being finalized and will be instituted via the City Administrative Procedure Act (or CAPA). The notion of a new fee structure for veterans and people with disabilities was recently discussed in a City Council Parks Committee hearing regarding Intro 856, legislation sponsored by Council Members Mark Levine and Eric Ulrich.

“NYC Parks is pleased to offer veterans and people with disabilities access to affordable recreation opportunities at our facilities throughout the city,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP. “It is extremely important that all New Yorkers are able to enjoy and take advantage of the wide-ranging services provided at our recreation centers. Our goal is to promote and encourage healthy lifestyles for people of all ages and abilities.”

“We are excited to give people with disabilities and veterans discounts to our cities best kept secret, Parks Recreation Centers,” said Victor Calise, Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities. “Since 2006 the Parks Department has invested heavily in making their centers accessible and including adaptive equipment so everyone can participate. Advocates have been asking the city for these discounts for years and their voices are heard.”

“Veterans and their families greatly benefit from enjoying the tranquility of City parks and the health benefits of engaging in sports and other activities through use of City recreation centers,” saidBrigadier General Loree Sutton, MD, Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Veterans’ Affairs. “Under the leadership of Mayor Bill de Blasio, MOVA is pleased to partner with NYC Parks, Mayor’s Office of People With Disabilities and the City Council to make these important benefits both accessible and affordable for those who have served our country.”

“The city’s recreation centers should be affordable for our veterans and fellow New Yorkers with disabilities. This is one small assurance we can offer to show our gratitude to the men and women who served and to ensure those with disabilities receive low-cost access to recreation. I’m pleased that the Parks Department will now allow these New Yorkers the benefit of our wonderful recreation centers at a reduced rate, and provide them the opportunity to live active and healthy lifestyles,” said Council Member Mark Levine, Chair of the City Council Parks Committee.

Since 1910, NYC Parks has provided the most affordable and extensive network of recreational services throughout New York City. Our 35 recreation centers provide a range of programs for people of all ages and offer facilities such as indoor pools, weight rooms, basketball courts, dance studios, game rooms, art studios, and libraries. Additionally, Shape Up NYC offers free fitness classes every week at dozens of recreation centers across the five boroughs.

To learn more about Recreation Centers in your community, please visit