Parks and Playgrounds FAQ

The maintenance of Cambridge’s open spaces is the responsibility of the Department of Public Works, working in collaboration with several City departments, including CDD, the Department of Human Service Programs, the Conservation Commission, the Water Department, and the Arts Council, as well as the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation on state-owned lands.

Click on the FAQs below to learn more about park permits, amenities, maintenance needs, and more, as well as the appropriate contact information for additional questions.

How do I reserve a field for athletic use?

For Danehy Park: obtain a permit from the Recreation Division of the Department of Human Services Programs, call 617/349-6238, or email tcusick@cambridgema.gov.

For athletic fields excluding Danehy Park: obtain a permit from the Recreation Division of the Department of Human Services Programs, call 617/349-6238, or email tcusick@cambridgema.gov

I would like to reserve park space for an event, such as a child's birthday party. What permits do I need?

  • For Danehy Park: obtain a permit from the Recreation Division of the Department of Human Services Programs, call 617/349-6238, or email tcusick@cambridgema.gov.
  • To reserve a non-athletic park (excluding Danehy Park) for an event: contact the Parks Division of the Department of Public Works at 617/349-4885 or cfosher@cambridgema.gov or the Special Events Coordinator at 617/349-6948 or rfuentes@cambridgema.gov.
  • For additional information about park permits, visit the Department of Public Works' Park Permit FAQ webpage. 


Who do I contact about a maintenance need at a park?

  • You may use the Commonwealth Connect app to report any issues. Alternatively, refer to the phone numbers and emails listed below.
  • For issues in city-owned parks and playgrounds (other than the exceptions below), contact the Parks Division of the Department of Public Works at 617/349-4885 or cfosher@cambridgema.gov.
  • For issues in Danehy Park, please contact the Recreation Division of the Department of Human Services Programs at 617/349-4895 or tcusick@cambridgema.gov.
  • There are also a number of parks in Cambridge managed by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation. For issues related to the Charles River Reservation, Alewife Reservation, Blair Pond, or McCrehan Memorial Pool, please call 617/626-1250 or mass.parks@state.ma.us.

How do I apply for community garden space?

  • You can find applications for community garden space and related information here.

When are waterplay areas available for use?

All waterplay facilities are free and open to the public during the summer months. Access a waterplay map here

Where can I let my dog play off-leash?

View a map of off-leash dog areas and shared-use hours and locations here. For more information, visit CDD's Off Leash Dogs webpage

How can I learn about recreational opportunities in different areas of the city?

Explore the interactive parks and playgrounds map or view individual maps of the city displaying parks and playgrounds, waterplay, community gardens, or off-leash locations

My question is not listed on this page. Who should I contact?

Click here for a more complete listing of agencies involved in the operation or maintenance of open spaces in Cambridge or contact Gary Chan at gchan@cambridgema.gov or 617/349-4603 with any questions. We look forward to hearing from you!