Erin and Bryce make up the small but mighty staff at Durham Central Park. Here is a message from the team about what DCP means to them.
You may recognize us as the dirt-covered people hauling a wheelbarrow through the Farmers’ Market during our regular volunteer workdays. Perhaps you’ve dropped a donation in a jar at a PLAYlist concert that was held by one of us in a comically large Cardinal Hat…
Or maybe you’ve seen us sorting waste at a Food Truck Rodeo. You’ve definitely read our letters and seen our pictures of the park through every season of the year. The point is, we’re at the park. A lot! And we want to tell you what we love so much about DCP.
The park and its surrounding neighborhood has changed considerably in the six plus years we’ve worked for Durham Central Park. But the goal of our work has remained the same: to make this space, which is so special in the growing Downtown area, accessible and welcoming to all. That is no small feat considering the challenges we face, like the fact that Durham Central Park’s operations and programming are largely funded by donations from the community.
DCP Inc. is a nonprofit. Sometimes we can feel like a broken record, but it’s a fact a lot of people miss. We’re a city park, managed by a nonprofit, with no direct city funding for all we do.
In fact, much of our work is divided between maintaining this greenspace and organizing and executing the community programs, and raising the money to keep doing it year after year. And each year we ask ourselves, “How can we make it better?” And when we’ve answered that, we ask “how can we fund these projects that make it better?” While we spend a lot of time as boots on the ground, making sure the park is safe and maintenance issues are taken care of swiftly thanks to our relationship with the city, that upkeep is largely done by us, the nonprofit Friends of the Park organization.
Our eyes and connections to the city keep things in good shape, in addition to the work of trying to make each year better and better.
Personally, our favorite projects this year have been:
- Presenting PLAYlist, our free concert series, in partnership with WNCU, which brought thousands of people to downtown Durham, supported dozens of local artists, and gave entrepreneurial opportunities to nearly a hundred local minority owned businesses
- Providing two sessions of a Storytime, a free craft/story/song hour which reached almost 400 children
- Piloting DCP’s Reusable Cup program, which diverted 20,000 cups from the landfill
- Making the gardens in the park look better than ever at our volunteer workdays, which we held more of than any previous year
- Working with the city on the Master Plan for DCP – we’re just in planning mode but we’ll have more exciting news about it in the coming year!
These projects are mostly all ongoing, and 2023 will continue with similar themes of “more, but better”… And perhaps some new offerings too, like possibly a free exercise program (follow DCP to stay up to date on all the things we’re cooking up!)…But so much of what we are proud of and love to do at the park take time, energy, and money. We work hard to bring joy to the space and your support is so crucial to that effort!
We truly read every little note we receive and cherish every donation sent in. Your contributions means the world to us, so consider making a donation today! You can donate on our website at durhamcentralpark.org/donate or send a check to PO Box 1526 Durham, NC 27702. Our work as a small two person non-profit team is truly something of an accomplishment when you consider that DCP Inc does not receive city funding.
There are so many ways to be a Friend of the Park, and we’re grateful to each and every one of you for your support!
Happy Holidays from us at Durham Central Park, and a Happy New Year too! We’ll see you at the park in 2023!
Erin + Bryce