New Grass Growing at the Park!

Have you been wondering what’s going on inside the loop sidewalk near the pixel wall and the skatepark? Well, we are growing grass!!

This area is named the Great Lawn, but for the past couple of years, it has been a little less than great. Here is the back story.

Before the Park

On the site of the Great Lawn area, there once stood a tobacco auction warehouses  Mangum 1 & 2. These warehouses were similar in size and use to the former Liberty Warehouse. It was demolished in the 80s, but all kinds of pieces of the warehouse were left in the field- concrete, glass, nails, wood beams, various metal, and even artifacts like an old fashioned cash register and the base of a blender.

In the 1990s, the idea of building a downtown park came together and by 1999, Durham Central Park was established. In every iteration of the master plan for the park, it was envisioned that there would be a loop sidewalk on the east side of the park. But, raising money to build a sidewalk not an easy task, so building that sidewalk remained a dream for the future.

 

Loop Side Walk Built

In 2016, the builders and developers of Liberty Warehouse Apartments very generously built the loop sidewalk that serves as an accessible link between Rigsbee and Foster streets. They had a need for a sidewalk per the city ordinances and we had a sidewalk that we wanted built. It was a win-win situation. There were several months that year when the east side of the park was closed for construction. At the end, grass was planted in the center for the “Great Lawn”,  but the new grass just never took root.

Second Try for Grass

Gus from DPR Tilling up the Soil
Adding topsoil!

Once we realized that our new lawn was not taking off, our organization started working through various plans, timelines and budgets for getting the grass on our Great Lawn re-established. Late last winter, we received very generous donations from both the developer (East West Partners) and builder (Clancy-Theys) of Liberty Warehouse Apartments. With funding secured, we were able to pull together a workable plan to get the grass re-established.

As with many projects at Durham Central Park, it has been a team effort! First, we had to start by getting all of the rocks and various debris that was all through the lawn area dig up and moved out.  On the first Saturday in April of this year, 35 volunteers came to the park ready to dig! We excavated tons of rocks and concrete  and have found uses for them around the park.

Once the big stuff was out, our friends at Durham Parks and Rec started to rough up the ground by tilling and aggressively aerating. In the process they found even more rocks and concrete! After a few frustrating rain delays, we hired TROSA to come in and remove the rest of the gravel and add 84 yards of topsoil. Then, almost one month after we started, grass seed and fertilizer were finally sown.

We have BABY GRASS!!

Excited to find grass seedlings!

Since the grass was planted, we’ve barely gotten any rain. So, DCP employees, Bryce and Erin, have been diligently keeping the area watered. Our new neighbors at Liberty Warehouse Apartments have generously donated access to their water to help get the grass established. We are so thankful to have such generous neighbors!

The baby grass has slowly been emerging and spreading. We nearly have a fully green hillside. Many have asked what was planted, with the sage advice of Durham Park and Rec and George Davis from Stone Brothers & Byrd, the decision was made to plant common Bermuda. It’s a warm season grass that can take a lot of foot traffic. The lawn won’t be open for at least another month, but we are looking forward to having a newly established grassy area for people to play on and enjoy!

PLAYlist Concert Series opens with Soul & Salsa: Alanna Royale, Ricardo Diquez

This third year of PLAYlist Concert Series features a few changes, inspired by audience feedback. We are extending the series into the fall, by presenting concerts every other Friday evening from June 14 to September 20. We have also shifted the time: local food trucks and craft beer vendors will start serving at 6 p.m. but music starts at 7 p.m. Finally, we are including more opening acts with the concerts.

 

One thing that has not changed is the fact that each of these concerts is welcoming to the whole community and, most importantly, absolutely free to attend! The series is curated by Tess Mangum Ocaña, who works for Durham Central Park and leads Durham-based production company Sonic Pie Productions.

The full line up ranges from progressive R&B to Latin, soul, Americana, hip hop and world music:

Alanna Royale-Friday, June 14

Ricardo Diquez y la Orquesta Trópico-Friday, June 28

An Evening With Van Hunt-Friday, July 12

Bull City All-Stars Drumline w/ Caroline Brodie-Friday, July 26

New Reveille w/ Raleigh Rockers-Friday, August 9

&More (Chill Moody & Donn T) w/ Niito-Friday, August 23

Project 919 Band w/ Empower Dance lesson-Friday, September 6

Les Filles de Illighadad w/ Diali Cissokho-Friday, September 20

The concert series also continues a tradition of community partnerships and free educational/experiential before or during some of the performances, such as an audience Q&A with Les Filles de Illighadad (from Niger) facilitated by Chatham County-based kora player Diali Cissokho. Cissokho will act as their French to English translator. “We are so excited to present this free concert series to the Durham community. Providing welcoming, inclusive and free programming is central to Durham Central Park’s mission” says Durham Central Park Executive Director Erin Kauffman.

Parking is free in the lot beside Durham Central Park, and there are metered spaces along Foster Street which change to free parking meters after 7 p.m.

Admission to PLAYlist Concert Series is free, due to support from sponsors North Carolina Arts Council, Durham Arts Council, Durham 150, WeWork, Friends of World Music, Urban Durham Realty, Resolute Building Company, Cambria Durham, PickleFest, 90.7 WNCU, Duke Performances, Acme, Morningstar Law, Pinnacle Financial Advisors and Downtown Durham Inc., Kompleks Creative.

Picnics, blankets and folding chairs are welcome. Local food trucks and craft beer vendors will be on site. There are restrooms at Durham Central Park and the venue is wheelchair accessible. For more information, visit https://durhamplaylist.com/

Vernal Equinox: a perfect day to take a walk through Durham Central Park

Wednesday, March 20 is the Vernal Equinox. Hello Spring! Take a walk through Durham Central Park today, or share this with a faraway friend. Here are some iconic daffodils, goumi berry, grape hyacinth, magnolia and peach blossoms, a crocus (from our Bulb Blitz) hellebore, hyacinth and more.

Some gardeners say blooming crocus are your cue to plant radishesparsnips, and spinach. What are your favorite early spring flowers and flowering trees at Durham Central Park?

Durham Farmers’ Market

Durham Farmers’ Market has announced their Wednesday, Main Season and Pre-Thanksgiving Holiday Market dates:
  • Wednesday Market: April 17 through October 9 from 3:00-6:00 pm
  • Saturday Main Season Market: April 6 through November 23 from 8:00 am-Noon
  • Pre-Thanksgiving Holiday Market: Tuesday, November 26 from 3:00-5:00 pm

The Durham Farmers’ Market brings people together to celebrate the unique food and culture of downtown Durham and the farms that sustain it. We provide access to fresh food for all of our community, champion small farmers and artisans, and foster a thriving and participatory local economy. 

Shopping Tips

We are sure you’ll have a great time at the Durham Farmers’ Market and we thought we’d share a few tips that can help ensure the best possible experience:

  • Even though we have a roof over our heads, the market is an outdoor event, so you can expect all kinds of weather, from early-morning frost to blazing heat, so dress accordingly.
  • Want to use your SNAP/EBT card at the market? Come to the info table located in the center of the Pavilion and a staff member will happily assist you!
  • Don’t get dehydrated! There is always fresh water available in the Pavilion’s bathrooms. If you need a cup, don’t hesitate to ask for one at the info table.
  • On Saturdays, parking is available in the Measurement Inc. lot just above the market (where the market used to be held) as well as in the lots on Foster Street and on Corporation Street at the Old Ballpark.
  • Don’t forget to bring your bags! Sturdy shopping bags or baskets will help you carry your purchases.
  • No pets in the market, please! There is plenty of space outside the market area in Durham Central Park to socialize with your four-legged friends!

2019: will you help build on this success and sustain the park into the future?

Thanks to your generosity through the years, Durham Central Park has become a unique, welcoming gathering space in the heart of our growing city.

Just a little over 20 years ago, Durhamites worked together to envision an urban park to engage the community and be a place to enjoy natural beauty, public art, community events, and playing in nature. Durham Central Park is different from other city parks. The city owns the land, but the park is managed, developed, and programmed by DCP, Inc, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. We do not receive public funding. Friends of the park, like you, have generously supported the park every step of the way to transform five weedy, underused acres into this wonderful park.

As the skyline around the park continues to change, DCP, Inc. remains committed to our mission of Providing Space for Community. It is critical that Durham has a gathering space in the heart of the city where everyone can feel welcome. This year, along with the hard work of maintaining the park and continuing our free, inclusive programming, we have been able to make some great improvements. In November, we installed our new interactive pixel art wall where park-goers make new art every day. We planted 30 new trees. Moving into the winter, we will be installing a pollinator garden around the bee hotel, planting more trees, and adding several new benches.

In 2019, we will undertake the hard work of updating our strategic and master plans. In the park’s short history, with the constant support of the community, we have been able to build a great park. But, it is time to look towards the future and ensure that the park lives up to its full potential and becomes the jewel of downtown Durham that was envisioned from the start.

Will you help build on this success and sustain the park into the future? Your year-end gift, of any size, will help to safeguard this space and all that it means to you and your family.

·         Make a Year-End Gift by mailing a check or donating through our website

·         Become a Park Sustainer by making monthly, quarterly or annual gifts at durhamcentralpark.org/donate

We look forward to seeing you at the Park soon!

Erin Kauffman, Executive Director

Durham Central Park, Inc.

At #pixelwalldurham YOU’RE The Artist

Pixel Wall Durham

On November 4, 2018 Durham Central Park’s Pixel Wall was installed. This is a space for community members and visitors to get creative and make art! Everyone is invited to join.

The Pixel Wall is located on the east side of Durham Central Park, on Liberty Warehouse Apartment’s brick wall overlooking the great lawn.

Here are a few things to remember when you visit:

  1. Make Art!
  2. Take a picture and tag it #pixelwalldurham
  3. Return unused pixels (blocks) to the wall

Photo credit: Ryan Moeller Photography

   

Interactive Pixel Wall Mural Coming November 4 to Durham Central Park

DURHAM, N.C. – The Liberty Warehouse Wall at Durham Central Park will soon have new interactive public art on display and the Durham community is invited to the early November opening ceremony.

Hosted by the City of Durham and Durham Central Park, the opening ceremony will take place on the east side of park, which is located at 501 Foster St., on Sunday, November 4 at 2 p.m. At this event, community members will have the opportunity to meet the artist collective behind the mural, Pixel Patch Creative, and create pixel murals of their own. The Opening Ceremony will take place alongside the Durham Central Park Food Truck Rodeo, and marks the second major public art installation along the Durham SmART corridor.

The public art installation, titled A Story Goes On, was created to facilitate an interactive, engaging  artistic experience in the heart of downtown Durham in which visitors are encouraged to create murals using movable pixel blocks. To celebrate the region’s incredible artistic legacy, The Story Goes On, provides space for emerging creative visions and pays particular tribute to local visionaries and thought leaders who have used their craft to advance social change.

Durham Central Park, Inc., Liberty Warehouse Apartments, and the City of Durham Office of Economic and Workforce Development, General Services Department, Durham Parks and Recreation, Public Art Committee, and the Artist Selection Committee selected Pixel Patch Creative as the artist team to design and install public art for the Liberty Warehouse Wall. This selection followed a participatory review process of 104 artist applications from across the United States responding to a national call for qualifications released in September 2017.

For more information about this public art installation or its opening ceremony, contact Special Projects Manager Stacey Poston with the City’s General Services Department at (919) 560-4197, ext. 21254 or by email.

About Pixel Patch Creative

Pixel Patch Creative is an artist collective founded to promote inclusive community engagement. Their work is hosted in public spaces to support place-making, tactile interactions, and multi-layered dialogue. Pixel Patch Creative design simple tools so communities have accessible ways to express themselves creatively. For more information, follow on Twitter and Instagram.

About the SmART Vision Plan

In 2012, the City of Durham was selected as one of five cities in North Carolina to participate in the 2012 North Carolina ArtsCouncil’s SmART Initiative to demonstrate how creative placemaking revitalizes downtowns and fuels sustainable economic development. The Durham Arts Council, in partnership with the City of Durham, Durham County, and multiple private partners and community stakeholders, worked with award winning landscape architect and urban designer Mikyoung Kim, creating a SmART Vision Plan, which reimagines the rapidly transforming north-south corridor straight through downtown. For more information, visit https://www.smartdurham.org.

About Durham Central Park, Inc.

Durham Central Park, Inc., is a 501(c)3 organization that holds a management agreement to operate, develop, and program Durham Central Park, a five-acre, City-owned park in downtown Durham. Durham Central Park features numerous gardens, paths and benches, open fields, kids play area, climbable sculptures, a skate park, and a large pavilion that is home to the farmers’ market and other community events.  For more information, follow on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

About the City of Durham General Services Department

The General Services Department builds and maintains City properties to make Durham a great place for people to live, work, and play. Guided by the City’s Strategic Plan, the department’s core functions include the acquisition and sale of properties, design and management of new construction and renovation projects, building maintenance, landscaping and urban forestry services, cemeteries management, sustainability and energy management, cultural and public art program management, and supporting the nonprofit Keep Durham Beautiful.

About the City of Durham Public Art Committee

The Public Art Committee serves as an advisory body to the Durham City Council and the City Manager, and its functions include assisting the City’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development on matters relating to public art; implementation of the Public Art Policy; and reviewing proposals for public art projects brought to it by the City administration; and making recommendations to the Cultural Advisory Board regarding project approvals. To further help artists connect with opportunities, the City has aDurham Calls for Artists page on its website, which lists a number of upcoming opportunities for artists in and around Durham. Artists and other stakeholders who would like to be notified of current and future art-related opportunities and news can now sign up for alerts through the Cultural and Public Art mailing list. For more information about the City’s Public Art Program, visit the City’s public art web page. Artists interested in more information about the Public Art program may also contact Special Projects Manager Stacey Poston with the City’s General Services Department at (919) 560-4197, ext. 21254 or by email.

The FUN In Fundraising: Parties For The Park 2018

The FUN In Fundraising: Parties For The Park

Above: Opening Splash Pool Party at The Unscripted/Below: Latin Quarter On Main

Parties for the Park, 17 exciting parties – dinner parties, pool parties, cocktail parties, and more, has been bringing the FUN to fundraising this fall! Our generous hosts invite you into their homes and businesses to enjoy a good time and raise money to support Durham Central Park. Many parties sold out in advance.

Tickets are still available for two of the six remaining parties: Under the Stars Atop the Kress (a FIVE COURSE meal, October 20) and Local Vocal: An Evening of Food, Drink & A Capella
(November 1)

 

HOW WE USE OUR FUNDS

The funds raised from Parties for the Park have supported many projects over the years including:

Additionally, the funds help to cover the usual costs for staffing, maintaining, and  programming the park. This fall, a new art installation will be installed on the east side of the park overlooking the lawn and a water fountain will be installed at Mt. Merrill.

None of this would be possible without your generous support! If your schedule doesn’t allow time to attend a party this year, consider hosting one next year, or make an online donation to DCP now! 

 

WHO WE ARE

Durham Central Park is a 5-acre city-owned park along Foster Street in the heart of downtown Durham. Our organization, DCP, Inc., a 501c3 non-profit organization holds a management agreement with the City of Durham. We operate, develop and sustain this invaluable community asset. DCP relies on contributions (both money and time) from the community to keep the park the open, thriving, and welcoming space that it has become over the years. DCP, Inc. is made up of a 28 member volunteer board and three staff members.

Trucks For The Park

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All You Need Is Love: A Beatles Pop-Up Chorus (2017)

We need YOUR PLAYlist feedback–only takes 60 seconds!

PLAYlist is DCP’s 10 week summer concert series with shows every Friday night from 6-8 pm, rain or shine. 

Thank you to our 2018 artists (Gabriel Garzón-Montano, Laura Reed, Aztec Sun w/ StArt of Cool, Valerie June, Kamara Thomas, Mamis & the Papis, Gemynii, Joshua Gunn, Devon Gilfillian, Empire Strikes Brass, Al Strong & the Fresh Five, Jenn Bostic), sponsors, donors, vendors and fans. We’ll see you next summer! Please take a moment to fill out this 60 second PLAYlist survey:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/V27GY6W

    

 

 

 

Parties for the Park tickets ON SALE AUGUST 10!

PARTIES FOR THE PARK

Parties for the Park is the new name for Durham Central Park’s annual fall fundraiser Meals from the Market. The new name captures the vibrancy of the park and the energy that everyone who visits the park brings. This series of fundraisers is expanded in vision yet similar in format to what we have done before. We hope that you will join in on the fun and attend a party to support Durham Central Park – a place for Durham to be Durham.

This fall, Parties for the Park is 17 exciting parties – dinner parties, pool parties, cocktail parties, dance parties and more! Our generous hosts invite you into their homes and businesses to enjoy a good time and raise money to support Durham Central Park.

WHO WE ARE

Durham Central Park is a 5-acre city-owned park along Foster Street in the heart of downtown Durham. Our organization, DCP, Inc., a 501c3 non-profit organization holds a management agreement with the City of Durham to operate, develop and sustain this invaluable community asset. We rely on contributions (both money and time) from the community to keep the park the open, thriving, and welcoming space that it has become over the years. DCP, Inc. is made up of a 28 member volunteer board and three staff members.

WHAT WE DO

For 20 years, we have built the infrastructure that makes the DCP beautiful, accessible, functional, comfortable and welcoming to the entire community. We provide high quality, free programming including the PLAYlist Concert Series, Food Truck Rodeos, Fourth of July Parade, Free Movies, and Free Yoga. We work closely with the city to advocate for the needs of the park as the downtown develops and changes. We also provide affordable rental space for local groups and non-profits to use, including the Durham Farmers’ Market.

HOW WE USE OUR FUNDS

The funds raised from Parties for the Park have supported many projects over the years including:

  • the expansion of  our PLAYlist Concert Series 
  • the installation of benches, tables and trees
  • the construction of Mt. Merrill

Additionally, the funds help to cover the usual costs for staffing, maintaining, and  programming the park. This fall, a new art installation will be installed on the east side of the park overlooking the lawn and a water fountain will be installed at Mt. Merrill.

None of this would be possible without your generous support!