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Parks, Recreation, and Beaches


Enhancing the quality of life for residents through safe, structured, and accessible programs and public spaces.


The department provides year–round recreational and educational programs in an environment that is safe and supportive for both youth and adults to explore their talents, build self-esteem and empower healthy decision making. The health and wellness of the New Bedford community is dependent upon our recreational facilities, natural resources, and opportunities. The positive experience of this engagement enriches and strengthens the fabric of our community for today and the future.

Current Offerings



Our programs include the Play in the Park Summer Food Program, providing free meals & activities for youth 18 & under all summer long; the Kennedy Summer Day Program, which is a low-cost, full day summer camp-like
experience for ages 5-14; free swimming lessons, fitness & water sports at West Beach; the Youth United Sports Clinic
program; free music on West Beach; guarded  public beaches; & nature trails.

Andrea McCoy Rec Center

The Rec Center offers a full-size gymnasium with performance stage, education center with computer lab, art room
for crafts & games, & a multi-purpose room for a wide range of activities. Membership is free for

New Bedford
residents. We offer many free & low-cost sports clinics, martial arts, fitness classes, & skill building workshops.Each
year we hold a free, family friendly community Halloween Party. Our website is updated regularly with program &
event details.

Out-of-School-Time Programs

We offer out of school time programs at the Andrea McCoy Rec Center & the Ricketson Nature Center in Brooklawn Park. Both locations open early during NBPS 1⁄2 days, & during school vacation weeks (Feb. & April) the Rec Center
features fun Staycation programs with different themes for a small fee. We also partner with local organizations
throughout the year to provide free family events throughout the city in our beautiful public parks! Our website is updated regularly with program & event details.


181 Hillman Street,
New Bedford, MA

Executive Director: 
Mary S. Rapoza

Monday-Friday, 8am-4pm
Andrea McCoy Recreation Center: Sunday-Friday, 3-8pm *May vary
Ricketson Nature Center: Tuesday-Thursday, 3-5pm *May Vary 

Important Info

Rec. Ctr. Memberships are free for NB Residents.

Registration for programs requires Rec. Ctr. membership.

Programs updated throughout the year; visit for details.

For more information on
current programs, check out
their websites below!

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