This article was originally published by the Herald Sun. See it here.
In 2003, Durham Central Park was a five-acre area full of bramble bushes, weeds and trash.
On the east side of Foster Street, South Ellerbe Creek ran through the park but was so overgrown with kudzu and bushes you couldn’t even see it.
The area which is now the DCP Pavilion, home of the Durham Farmer’s Market and many other events throughout the year, was a wasteland that needed lots of love. The only part of the park that had been developed was the Grace Garden in the northwest corner of the park. The rest of the five acres was pretty much a mess.
That same year Dan Jewel, a new DCP board member and local landscape architect, knew that with very little money to spare in the DCP bank account, we needed some volunteer help with some serious clean-up duties. And besides, the DCP’s vision of the park was that of a community park – “Durham’s own big back yard” – so the idea of getting the larger community involved to help clean it up and get things rolling was a great idea waiting to happen.