Most of the district is now agriculturally used, but in the easternmost part there are several lakes, the largest of them being the Plauer See (39 km²). The Plauer See marks the western end of the Müritz lakeland.
In 1994 the three districts of Parchim, Sternberg and Lübz were merged into the enlarged district of Parchim. The borders of this new district were roughly identical with the medieval principality of Parchim-Riechenberg, which existed between 1238 and 1316. This district was merged with the district of Ludwigslust at the district reform of September 2011, forming the new Ludwigslust-Parchim district.
The coat of arms shows a bull's head, which is both the symbol of the former Estate of Parchim, as well as of Mecklenburg into which it was incorporated in 1471. The two blue corners symbolize the two biggest lakes of the district - the Schweriner See and the Plauer See.