Goats at the Park!

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Next Thursday, November 3rd, DCP will be the temporary residence of a crew of goats from The Goat Squad! These goats will be tasked with the job of cleaning up (eating) the kudzu that has grown over the small section of the Ellerbe Creek on the northern most end of the Park (at Roney and Corporation Streets, across from the ballpark lot). You may not even know that the creek is daylighted in that area! It’s kind of hard to see it because so much has grown over it in the past couple of year. But, these 4-legged critters will be hard at work eating as much kudzu and undergrowth as possible!

Then on Saturday, November 5th, from 9-Noon, we will have our monthly volunteer cleanup workday. During the workday, volunteers can go into the creek are and help the goats out by pulling the kudzu that they can’t reach off the trees. All are welcome to join. Plus you’ll get to pet the goats! The workday will start at the red table by the Grace Garden (at the bottom of the stairs on Roney Street).

Many thanks to the Rickhouse and Picklefest for helping to make this happen! The fine folks at the Rickhouse chose DCP to be the beneficiary of the funds raised during their Picklefest in July. They raised $2400 for the Park and with that donation, we are able to bring goats to do this work!!

The goats will be cleaning up this section of the creek for 4 days, from November 3-6. Stop by and check out their progress. It’s going to look much different once their work is done!

 

Construction Advisory

You may have noticed that the construction fence on the east side of the Park moved a little closer to the street yesterday. Here’s what’s happening….

The workers have pulled up a few pieces of the sidewalk to install a storm drain to assist with the drainage from the hillside. The new drain will help the section of the park between Mt. Merrill and the Liberty Arts Foundry from getting so muddy.

This project should take about one week from start to finish. The sidewalk will be re-installed and depending on the weather, should be re-open next week. Access to Mt. Merrill and the Liberty Arts Foundry will NOT be impacted during this project.

The new loop sidewalk construction on the hillside is progressing slower than expected. All of the rain has delayed the process. But, now that the sun is out, they are moving along. We’ll keep you posted!

The Skate Park repairs are all finished and it is open for skating once again! If you see someone from Parks and Rec, make sure to give them a high five for helping to make the repairs happen.

Thanks to all for your patience with this process!

Design Charrette this Saturday!

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DCP’s current master plan which will be updated at the design charrette!

During the past few weeks, we’ve been seeking community input about the Park – how people use the Park, what they like, what needs improvement, etc – through our Community Input Survey in ENGLISH and SPANISH,  and community input meetings. Hundreds of people have shared their thoughts and we are so grateful!

Now it’s time for the Master Plan Design Charrette. A design charrette is where designers and community members get together and, using the community input from the survey results, draw and dream of what the Park will look like in the future. From there, a revised Master Plan will be created and the DCP board uses it as a guide for future updates and improvements. The Pavilion that houses the Durham Farmers’ Market and Mt. Merrill are both the direct results of community input to guide creation and revision of the Master Plan.

The Master Plan Design Charrette will be held on Saturday October 8th, 9 am-Noon at Measurement Incorporated, 423 Morris Street.

Also, you have probably noticed that the park’s big hillside and the skate park is currently closed. We are currently installing a Loop Sidewalk between the Leaf and the Skate Park, an element that has been on the Park’s Master Plan for a long time. Plus, much needed repairs are being done at the skate park. Right now, the whole hillside is torn up, but in a matter of weeks, an ADA-accessible loop shaped sidewalk will be installed around the great lawn. The lawn will be re-graded back into a hillside that won’t be nearly as muddy and difficult to traverse as it is now.
 
Please join us for the Charrette and help us shape the future of the Park!
NOTE: We are watching the weather closely. If Hurricane Matthew starts heading our way, we may postpone. CHECK OUR WEBSITE FOR DETAILS!

Construction Update

 

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Photo by Stacey Poston

 

You may be wondering why the park’s hillside is under construction. A new loop sidewalk is being installed around the perimeter of the lawn!

This new sidewalk will be ADA accessible and it will create a much needed connection between Rigsbee Ave and Foster Street on the east side of the park.This loop  sidewalk has been part of the Park’s master plan for over 20 years. For a long time it was, what felt like, an unattainable dream because a sidewalk of that scope and design is a very expensive project. In 2014, East-West Partners, the developer of the Liberty Warehouse Apartments, approached the Park and proposed that they help build the sidewalk in the Park while their crews are assembled. Since then, Durham Central Park, Inc, the City of Durham, and East-West Partners has been working closely to finalize the details to make this new connection a reality!

img_8677This area was once the site of Mangum Warehouse No. 1& 2, tobacco auction warehouses. The warehouse was similar in size and scope to Liberty Warehouse (the current site of the Liberty Warehouse Apartments). Mangum Warehouse was demolished sometime in the 1980s, according to opendurham.org. In the late 90s, the City of Durham acquired the land and it created the east side of Durham Central Park. Over the next 10 years, brush was cleared, the hillside was graded and it became an wide open green space that is now called the Great Lawn. In 2009, Parks and Rec built and opened the skate park on the south east corner of the lawn. Now, as the land for the sidewalk is being prepared, big chunks of the foundation of Mangum Warehouse are being unearthed, as you can see in the picture. That was expected and if you are watching it happen (like I am), it’s like an urban archaeological site!

In addition to the loop sidewalk, there will be a proper entrance to the park built near the intersection of Broadway and Rigsbee. This is another long planned addition that will welcome our neighbors from the east into the park. The sidewalk installation should take about 8 weeks and we are hoping to re-open the area in late fall. That, of course depends on the weather. After the sidewalk is constructed, the hillside will be regraded and seeded with grass so that it, once again, becomes an open green lawn for all to enjoy.

As we have gathered feedback from the community, we know that many people want to see more shade in the Park. So, we are working on that too! We have been working closely with the Durham’s forestry manager, Alex Johnson to identify hearty varieties of trees that will be planted along the perimeter of the new sidewalk to create groves of shade around the lawn. About 20 arge-ish trees will be planted in early winter!

We are also please to let you know that the skatepark is getting some much needed repairs! It should re-open by mid-October.

Check back soon for more details!

 

 

Help Us Improve the Park!

dcp-improvethepark-postcard-2016-r2Over the past few weeks, we’ve been seeking your input about the Park – how you use the Park, what you like, what needs improvement, etc – through our Community Input Survey in ENGLISH and SPANISH. Hundreds of people have shared their thoughts and we are so grateful!

Our next step in the information gathering process is to hold Community Input Sessions. We will be holding two over the next couple of weeks.

Thursday September 22nd, 6-8pm
The Trotter Building
410 W. Geer Street

Thursday September 29th, 6-8pm
Durham Parks and Rec
400 Cleveland Street
Spanish Interpretation Available

At these community input sessions, we’ll have brief presentation about the history of the Park starting at 6:15 each evening. After that, participants can circulate around to different tables staffed by DCP staff and board members to tell us what you’d like to see in terms of physical improvements, park programming, the Park’s mission, and more. These are drop in events. All are welcome to join!

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Durham Central Park’s Master Plan

Why are we seeking your input about the park right now? Well, every few years, Durham Central Park takes the time to listen to the community about how they use the Park, what they would like to see at the Park, what is working, what’s not working, etc. Then, with the input from the community, we hold a design charrette to update the park’s Master Plan. A design charrette is where designers and community members get together to draw and dream of what the Park will look like in the future. From there, a revised Master Plan is created and the DCP board uses it as a guide for future updates and improvements. The Pavilion that houses the Durham Farmers’ Market and Mt. Merrill are both the direct results of community input to guide creation and revision of the Master Plan.

The Master Plan Design Charrette will be held on Saturday October 8th, 9-Noon at Measurement Incorporated, 423 Morris Street.

In fact, we are currently installing an element that has been on the Park’s Master Plan for a long time. The Loop Sidewalk is being installed on the east side of the Park between the Leaf and the Skate Park. Right now, the whole hillside is torn up, but in a matter of weeks, an ADA-accesbile loop shaped sidewalk will be installed around the great lawn. The lawn will be re-graded back into a hillside that won’t be nearly as muddy and difficult to traverse as it is now.

Please join us and help shape the future of Durham Central Park!

Great Loop Construction Starts Soon!

dcp-master-plan-7-15-smaller-2On Monday, September 12th, a big change is coming to Durham Central Park. We are pleased to announce that an ADA accessible loop shaped sidewalk will be installed on the east side of the Park. The sidewalk will provide an safe and easily traversable connection between Rigsbee Ave and Foster St. for the community (see image). No longer will people have to tromp up or down a sometimes muddy hillside to get from one side of the park to the other. This sidewalk has been in DCP’s Master Plan for many years and it is exciting to see it finally being built!

We are also pleased to share that while we are adding this new sidewalk, the open space of the Great Lawn will be preserved and also slightly regraded to help with existing drainage problems. After the construction is completed, this winter, there will be new shade trees installed around the sidewalk. Tree locations TBA. Stay tuned.

During the construction, the Great Lawn area will be closed to the public. Construction should last 6-8 weeks. Park visitors will have full access to the Leaf, Mt. Merrill, the bridge and the whole west side of the Park. In the first two weeks of construction, the Skate Park will also be closed for some much needed repairs. After those repairs are finished, the skatepark will reopen and be fully accessible while the sidewalk is installed.

This sidewalk installation will be funded in large part by East West Partners, the company that is building Liberty Warehouse Apartments. Over the years that East West Partners has been working on the apartments, they have been great friends to Durham Central Park. In addition to installing the sidewalk that has been on the Master Plan for years, they made a sizable donation to build Mt. Merrill and in the near future will be making a donation towards art in the Park.

 

Rissi Palmer Previews Friday Warehouse Blues Concert on WUNC’s The State of Things

She’s a little bit country, a little bluesy, and packs a punch behind a mircophone. Don’t miss the Triangle’s own Rissi Ralmer on WUNC’s The State of Things Friday, July 15, where she’ll be previewing her full band performance at Durham Central Park that evening. Between sets at Durham Central Park, Rissi will conduct a free “powerhouse” blues vocal workshop–all part of the 13th annual Warehouse Blues Series. Tune in to 91.5 (and other stations in eastern NC) from 12-1 p.m. Rissi’s music and interview segment begins around 12:40 p.m. Click here for more info and line up of local food trucks and beer at the show. Durham Central Park’s Warehouse Blues Series is made possible by The Blue Note Grill, Marriott Durham, Questell Foundation, Leaf Filter, Downtown Durham Inc., AARP North Carolina, Home Advisor and Cricket Wireless.

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Childrens’ Independence Day Parade this Monday!

Our Annual Childrens’ Independence Day Parade is Monday!

This parade is one of our longest running events at the Park. Every year, on the 4th of July, we look forward to providing a fun and free event for the community. Starting at 9:30 a.m., the Scrap Exchange will be on hand to with supplies to help kids get decorated for the parade. Bring your bike, trike, big wheels, scooter, stroller, wagon or just decorate yourself! We’ll provide lots of balloons too.The parade starts at 10:30 a.m.. We will wind through the Park and over the bridge. Once we are done parading, there will be free popsicles and fire engine tours for all. DJ Piddipat will be providing the music.

Below are a few highlight from past parades! We hope to see you there.

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fire truck

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Tai Chi in DCP

FREE Tai Chi classes are taught in Durham Central Park at 10:15 a.m. each Saturday morning. This is a guest blog entry from instructor Ashton Richards:

Tai Chi Chuan is possibly an exponent of Shaolin Kung Fu. Shaolin Kung Fu is thought to be the combination of martial Shuai Jiao (Chinese wrestling with striking) and Yoga breathing, exercises, and meditation. Legend has it that Da Mo an Indian Buddhist monk taught this Yoga to the Shaolin monks. Chang San Feng a Daoist Priest is credited for inventing Tai Chi 1101 A.D. The style of Kung Fu was eventually passed down to the Chen Family from Chaing Fa. Chan San Feng studied at the Shaolin Temple and then revised their form of Kung Fu to match Taoist ideas.
 
I enjoy practicing Tai Chi because it combines balance, relaxation, breathing with mobility and flexibility conditioning. Tai Chi can be meditation and it is the most complete system of self defense. Tai Chi is not difficult to do but it takes time and effort to do well.
To find out about free lifestyle classes, concerts and events at DCP, visit http://durhamcentralpark.org/events/
Tai Chi at DCP
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