DCP is hiring a Resilience Corps Service member for 2024-2025!

Resilience Corps NC: Durham Central Park

DCP is hiring a Volunteer and Sustainability Coordinator! Interested in a gap year experience centered around environmental education, climate resilience, or conservation? Looking to build your footprint in environmental resiliency in a supportive atmosphere that provides career development and professional training? Consider applying for our Resilience Corps NC’s AmeriCorps service position!  

The Volunteer and Sustainability Coordinator will bring their energy and enthusiasm to the park to help further develop our volunteer program, strengthen our sustainability efforts, work with us to deepen our DEI work through our Access, Belonging, and Community Committee and build a framework on which these programs can thrive and grow beyond their service. The ideal person will match the DCP Staff and Board members’ enthusiasm and passion about sustainability, bringing people together, and creating purpose, belonging, and meaning within the everyday work we do.

Providing Conservation Solutions to Your Community

Conservation Trust for North Carolina is the host organization for this 11-month AmeriCorps program. Resilience Corps NC seeks to address our state’s changing climate by expanding access to environmental education, promoting disaster resiliency, delivering equitable programming and empowering communities to identify and address climate-related issues through the placement of members in communities across North Carolina.

As a member you will be involved in service projects that help remove barriers to environmental education, develop community and economic resilience plans, monitor waterways and land, and support organization’s ability to serve the public interest. 

Benefits include: $31,000 living stipend, $6,495 Education Award, Health Insurance, childcare assistance, SNAP benefits, and professional development for continuing education.


To learn more & apply visit https://americorps.hiringthing.com/

10 Reasons to Become a Friend of Durham Central Park

DCP Inc. is a steward organization of the 5 acre park, but where do the funds you contribute go?

While Durham Central Park has become a staple destination for visitors, residents, business owners, and event organizers in Durham and throughout the Triangle too, there are still many who assume that the park is largely funded through tax dollars. The reality is that, while the nonprofit Durham Central Park Inc. enjoys a fruitful and productive partnership with the City of Durham – much to the benefit of the park – DCP relies on donations from supporters like you to accomplish all that we do. Why contribute to our organization? Because these accomplishments empower us to ensure this five acres in the heart of downtown Durham stays beautiful, exciting, fun, safe, engaging, and welcoming. Read on to hear 10 reasons to Become a Friend of Durham Central Park.

10. Advocacy for the Future

DCP spent 2023 working on a comprehensive plan with design firm McAdams. DCP’s staff and board spent Saturdays at the Durham Farmers’ Market, DCP events, and even a three day Open House hearing from you what the public desires most for Durham Central Park. As an organization it is our job to guide the design process and advocate for what Durham wants and needs from such a vital community space. We will continue to turn feedback into the future with your support!

9. Affordable Venue for Anyone

Despite the rise in prices over, well, pretty much everything, DCP has largely kept our rental prices affordable and equitable. The pavilion at Durham Central Park is not only a great place to host your event, wedding or get-together – its easy to do so.  While our rental income comprises the other portion of our annual budgets, donations from the public help us ensure we can keep the prices down and the pavilion an affordable venue for anyone who wants to hold their event in downtown Durham.

8. Placemaking for Stewardship and Volunteerism

The result of an organization that leads a comunity space with an ethos surrounding belonging and access is a place that fosters: greater community organization, a sense of pride and volunteerism, and a perpetuation of integrity and values. Durham Central Park provides opportunities for volunteers to feel a sense of ownership and excitement in caring for shared space; whether sorting waste, picking up litter, or beautifying gardens. With donor support, we’re able to empower volunteers and neighbors toward civic engagement.

7. Everyday Fun

On a weekly basis, folks enjoy the natural space, children’s climbing structures, and covered pavilion for recreation, respite, social interaction, and exercise. In addition to our special events and other rentals, the everyday activity in the park showcases how versatile this downtown community space is. Even beyond DIY everyday fun, over the last few years we’ve developed weekly offerings like our Tuesday Story Hour for children, and in 2023, a new partnership with You Call This Yoga added free yoga classes for anyone to join twice a week. Whether your activities are self designed or an offering from our organization, Durham Central Park is there for it all.

6. Creating Improved Accessibility

As an organization focused on fostering a sense of belonging, a question we often ask ourselves how to make it easier to enjoy the park and its offerings. This comes in the design of future amenities, considering parking needs for events, and accessibility to our concert series in the form of livestreaming PLAYlist on the radio so folks can listen from home. In 2023, we went even further in making sure everyone felt welcome in the park, by offering ASL interpretation at the concert series and providing a space for bilingual yoga classes. In 2024, we plan to dig even further into accessibility, by assessing all the ways in which folks usse the park and how we can bring even more people into the fold.

5. Building Economic Stability

Our vendors and partners are crucial to our programs, and we are overjoyed to foster entrepreneurial success. In 2023, between our rodeos, markets, program partners, we’ve built a space for thousands of businesses to prosper. Durham Central Park creates local value and local dollars pumping through the community.

4. Sustainable Leadership

Another year, another few tons of waste diverted from the landfill. Durham Central Park prides itself of leading the way for venues in the triangle by composting all food waste, using plastic-free, grey water safe soap from local business, Fillaree, and continuing into our second year of our Reusable Cup Program. Events create waste, there is no avoiding it. But we do the very best we can to lessen our impact on the landfill as a venue. We work hard with local organizations like Don’t Waste Durham, Keep Durham Beautiful, local breweries and businesses to ensure all our event partners and vendors work together to keep the amount of waste we send to the landfill to an absolute minimum.

3. Free Programming

PLAYlist, the Food Truck Rodeos, our Children’s Independence Day Parade, the Annual Iron Pour, all of our events have one big detail in common. Despite their broad appeal and varying audiences, all these events are free, fun, and open to everyone. It is a large undertaking to create a program of events that are high-quality and enjoyable for people from all walks of life.

2. Maintaining and Improving Amenities

Maintenance.. it’s not the most exciting thing to boast about. But as uninteresting as the unloading of a ton of gravel is, or lackluster a major repair on staircases through the park sounds, this function of our organization is essential to the safety and beauty of our five acres of greenspace. Every year there are so many necessary maintenance and repair projects, and we are so grateful to your contributions so that work can continued unencumbered.

1. Nurturing Community (Bringing YOU Together)

Parks are an essential need for the health and improved sociability of the community. So many park patrons have told us this year that they are enamored with the encouragement of social health in Durham Central Park. Our space creates opportunities for more cultural exposure, interaction, draws a more diverse population and encourages community creativity. We are so grateful to YOU for coming to the park and being apart of it all.

Thank you for another year of beauty, community, and joy! See you in the park in 2024.

Durham Central Park Wants to Hear Your Ideas!

We are hosting three brainstorming sessions open to the public to learn what Durham Central Park can do in the coming years to improve the park and better serve the community.

Durham Central Park works hard to be a downtown destination where everyone feels welcome. As we make plans for the future, our park patrons’ opinions and ideas are important. We are hosting three public open house meetings that anyone is welcome to attend. We look forward to bouncing ideas off one another and learning more about what the community is looking for in this five acre greenspace! These meetings will be conducted by Durham Central Park and McAdams for three days: August 13th, 14th, and 15th from 4-6 pm.


Why do we want to hear your thoughts?

As Durham Central Park Inc. makes a plan for the park’s future, we want to make sure we are serving the Durham Community as best as possible. This means hearing from the public about what more they want to see from:

  • the physical five-acre greenspace
  • the programming DCP has to offer
  • the opportunities and challenges of this unique downtown community gathering point

Dream Your Biggest Dream

Durham Central Park would be a very different place without the patrons, volunteers, vendors, non-profit partners, business sponsors, and most important the everyday people who love and appreciate the space in the many and varied ways it can be. Help us improve Durham Central Park to meet Durham’s needs by sharing your ideas! We want you to join us, dream your biggest dream and let it soar!

Opportunities to Participate

See You In The Park!

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! 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!

DCP’s PLAYlist Concert Series Returns May 5th!

The Lineup is Here!

Our crown jewel is back, and we are so excited to share more about the artists and offerings PLAYlist will be bringing you this season!

Our curated lineup covers and eclectic blend of genres and features local, regional and national artists. The concerts are simulcast on WNCU, 90.7FM. Each evening starts with DJ Travis Gales spinning his Friday Night Mix live at the park at 6:30pm. The band takes the stage at 7:30pm sharp. In addition to the music, there will be a mix of local food trucks, craft beer and other artisan vendors, as well as non-profit partners to round out the whole PLAYlist experience. There is open lawn seating, so please bring your blankets and lawn chairs. Picnics are welcome, but outside alcohol is not allowed. Leashed pets are welcome. Concerts will take place rain or shine.

Want a look back at all the magic that PLAYlist 2022 brought to the park? Check out this post with an amazing gallery of photos thanks to Ryan Moeller.

As for 2023, we’ve got quite a lineup for you! Are you signed up for the newsletter so you can stay up to date on all the latest PLAYlist news?


Interested in Sponsoring PLAYlist?

As a non-profit, DCP Inc. relies on community support, donations, fundraisers, vendors, and business and corporate sponsorships. Your gift of any size, will help to sustain the park and all that it means to you, your family and your community. In addition to our sponsors, the PLAYlist Concert Series is supported by the Durham Arts Council’s Annual Arts Fund and the N.C. Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural & Cultural Resources.  Become a sponsor today!

Want to be a part of PLAYlist’s Night Market?

Our concert series is meant to be a Durham house party! We welcome artists and non-profit partners that align with the mission of providing space for community and bringing joy and art to Downtown Durham! Email [email protected] if you would like a table at the Night Market.

A Look Back at PLAYlist 2022!

What a beautiful season of free concerts, community magic, and pure DCP love.

While there are many things about the park we all love, and tons of events you that are free, awesome, and welcome to everybody, we have to say, PLAYlist is our pride and joy. The beautiful partnerships, the over the top dance parties, the way y’all show up ready to shake off a week of work together… It’s become a special part of Durham Central Park’s year. Check out the slideshow below to see just what was so amazing about the 2022 PLAYlist Series. A special thank you to Ryan Moeller for the amazing photos. We can’t thank you enough for capturing these moments of joy in the park!


PS! We are just a few donations away from hitting our end of year fundraising goal! Donate today to get more of this PLAYlist goodness in 2023!


Happy New Year from all of us at DCP!

A Holiday Message from the DCP Team

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.

Dear Durham,

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


PS: Yes, sometimes we dress exactly alike; no it is not planned!

DCP Enters A New Era

A Profile of Durham Central Park

By Thomas Mande, Duke ’23

It’s a Saturday morning, and Durham Central Park is alive with activity. Foster Street—the street that runs through the center of the park—is lined end to end with
tents; one sells a range of ostrich products—from meat, to wallets, to feathers. The next sells organic tomatoes, and the one beyond that sells authentic Senegalese cuisine. Music floats through the air—a guitarist at one corner plays soft indie music, and a small band plays jazz
further down the road. A man in a full-body fox costume sits under a tent, offering to write visitors custom poems.

Attendees mill about the area, happy and unrushed. Young couples push strollers and walk their dogs. “Y’all wanna try some sweet potatoes?” a friendly, tall man in overalls and a big smile calls out.

The bustling scene is typical for the weekly Durham Farmers Market these days. Even on non-market days, Durham Central Park—a 5-acre park in downtown Durham—is often filled with life. The Park hosts a wide range of events, from story time for preschoolers to movie nights under the stars. Local community groups often rent the space and put on their own events.

A few decades ago, all this would’ve been hard to imagine. “I actually have photographs on a bulletin board when someone walked down the street,” said Ellen Cassily, a park board member. “I was like ‘oh look, there’s someone walking down the street,’ and I took a picture of them”

I met Ellen in the park that next Friday. It was a sunny, warm day, but the air had a distinct fall briskness to it. Ellen has been involved with the park from the beginning. She is a kind, middle-aged lady; she wore a brimmed hat, a beige puffer vest, purple rimmed glasses, and a purple patterned scarf.

Ellen first found out about the park when she was looking to buy a building down the street for her architecture practice in the late 1990s. After ensuring that the park founders weren’t planning to tear her building down—her immediate first fear—Ellen, who had studied landscape architecture in school, quickly got involved.

The original idea for the park came from two friends, Curt Eshelman and Allen Wilcox, in 1994. They hoped to revitalize the once thriving tobacco warehouse district, which had faced a slow decline after the cigarette industry faded out and was set to suffer further when Durham Bulls moved over to their new stadium in 1995.

A community park was at the core of their vision; it would feature art, picnics, concerts, and other events to bring community members together and bring new life to the area.

With help from their friend Bill Kalkhof at Downtown Durham, Inc. and other community members, the pair created a vision for the park. They worked with the City of Durham to buy the land, which at the time was several empty lots, overgrown with weeds.Today, the park is far from the empty space it once was. One side of Foster Street features a red-and-turquoise playground, which, as Ellen and I walked by, was swarmed by a gleeful group of middle schoolers whose classes had just ended. Around the same area is The Leaf—a modern-looking, circular wooden bench surrounded by upwards-shooting wooden
panels. Further up the hill is a skate park, and off to the left is a giant participatory art exhibit, where park-goers can use colorful plastic pegs to draw out images and pictures on a wall. A bridge crosses the creek, in place of what had once been an auto transmission store.

“The first part was land acquisition,” Ellen said. “We got land control. Then we were
dreaming and building and dreaming and building, and then it sort of tied off, and then dream
and build a little more.”

On the other side of Foster Street, the park features several gardens, including one edible garden, as well as the park’s most notable feature: the giant red and green L-shaped pavilion, which was designed by Ellen and installed in 2007. The pavilion was a crucial addition, because it provided space for the farmer’s market, which had previously been held in a nearby parking lot. Suddenly a thousand people were coming each week for the market. “The first time the street was closed off, and there were all these people here, I just walked down the street in tears,” Ellen said.

As Ellen and I walked around, it was starting to fill up. That afternoon, the Park was hosting the Bull City Block Party Vintage Market. This was a younger, more racially diverse, and visibly hipper crowd—it was clear many of the attendees were not shopping vintage for the first time. Vendors stood next to racks of graphic T-shirts and hoodies, which were priced from $5 to over $200.

The music—booming rap songs—punctuated by a frequent “Let’s go!” from the DJ, was a far cry from the calm Jazz and Indie music of the past Saturday. The park’s board strives to provide a diversity of events that reflect the diversity of the city in which it lies. Durham, though, is rapidly changing, presenting new opportunities and challenges.

Just as Ellen commented on the changes that have occurred within the park, she pointed out dramatic changes in the buildings surrounding it. Five years ago, the four closest buildings had been a mixture of businesses and warehouses. Now, two are luxury condos, and the other two are luxury apartments. “So those are going to be older, more well-off people,” Ellen joked as she showed me around, “and these are going to be younger, more well-off people.”

The changes happening around the park reflect greater shifts in the community. The park’s executive director, Erin Kauffman, told me that when she started working at the Farmer’s Market in 2006, there were only a handful of restaurants downtown and lots of empty storefronts. Many houses and neighborhoods were in disrepair. The city was largely Black and low-income.

In the time since, she’s seen downtown fill up with all kinds of restaurants. Companies have installed offices around the park. And the town has seen an influx of very wealthy white people. For the park’s board, these changes pose a challenge. The park was created to help revitalize Durham, and has been extremely successful in doing that. Now, however, the board and everyone involved with the park must grapple with both the positives and negatives that have come out of the change. For Erin, this means first and foremost ensuring that the space
stays accessible to all members of the Durham community.

“Our mission was to make sure that Durham Central Park—no matter what was
happening around the park, no matter what was happening in downtown Durham—Durham
central park is a place for everybody,” Erin said. “Whether you’re Black or white or rich or poor
or young or old. There’s always something that will make you feel welcome in Durham Central

Free events are a major part of the park’s strategy for keeping the space accessible. This summer, it hosted a concert series in partnership with WNCU, North Carolina Central’s NPR station. It hosts a four-times-a-year Food Truck Rodeo, a kids Fourth of July Parade, and more. Community groups are also able to rent the space for extremely cheap. The park hosts Black August every year, along with Durham Refugee Day, and the LGBTQ Center’s annual pride event. Many community members also use the park for impromptu gatherings, like vigils, protests, and other gatherings. “It’s like this community square in many ways,” Erin said. “It’s wild.”

The park’s board members also remain resolute in not allowing wealthy new residents to dampen the vibrancy of the local community. Ellen told me that one of the residents of the new buildings complained about the noise that the Batala Durham Band was making during a weekly rehearsal. Her neighbors were not sympathetic, nor was Ellen. “Everyone was like, why did you move here, if you didn’t want to be with all of the excitement going on?”

After talking with Ellen, I walked over to the vintage block party. The event had only picked up; the pavilion was now filled end to end with people browsing through racks of graphic t-shirts, jackets, shoes, hats, and more. Rap music still blared from the speaker, and the DJ let loose a frequent “Let’s go let’s go!” Aarik Graham was one of the vendors there. Aarik started digging for clothes about 10 years ago, but only started selling recently. He hunts through trash cans, dumpsters, thrift bins, and garage sales to find the best items. He mostly does it for fun, he said, but appreciates the environmental impact too. “I feel like if we can keep the old stuff alive, let’s do it,” he told me. “Like recycle, recycle, recycle. I’ll take this off and let you wear it after me.”

Though Aarik had never been to the park before, he liked the vibe, especially the access to open space and fresh air. “It’s more like a hang out, rather than a business, and that’s what I like about it,” he said. “The park makes it fun.” Jessica On, currently a junior at Duke, had visited the parks many times before. She
became a regular visitor to the farmers market during her freshman year. It became a bright spot for her during the pandemic—a place to go Saturday mornings, and an outdoor space where she could run into people, make plans, and build community. During her time in the park, Jessica also got to know some of the vendors, including a woman named Karen Casey. Casey makes fused glass earrings, and Jessica loves jewelry, so the two became close. “Every week I would  come back, and she would be like ‘Oh, I made these earnings that reminded me of you, I know you like these big earrings so I made these,’” Jessica said. “Every week I go back and look for her…I always get excited to see her.”

For each park vendor or visitor, the space means something different.

For Gaby Oluf, the woman who ran the ostrich meat stand at the Farmer’s Market, the park has been an opportunity to expand her business. She and her husband started their ostrich farm when they moved to North Carolina from California a few years ago. They had never farmed before, and having access to the Farmers Market was a huge step forward. For Cecelia Murray, who sells linoleum block prints on textiles at the Durham Craft Market, the park is a source of friendship and community. Over years coming to the market, she has gotten close with lots of the customers, who frequently show up to check out her new prints. When Ellen and Erin talk about the future of the park, they talk about continuing to build on the progress they’ve made, in a reflective, intentional way. But there are new obstacles to navigate. Parking is now expensive, making access to downtown Durham much harder for many community members. The park has struggled with homeless people taking up residence under the bridge—they work to help connect those people with social services, but the process can be a challenge. And it is also not always easy playing host to so many dogs. (“Poop is an issue,” Ellen said.)

The park has also begun to experience the wear and tear of all of the activity that happens there. As Ellen put it, “The park is getting what’s called loved to death.” In the coming years, reinforcement and maintenance will be a priority. Ellen said they are interested in raising a portion of Foster Street into an elevated, slightly bumpy pedestrian walkway, to make it clear to cars that they are entering a pedestrian zone. In addition, they hope to add Wifi. Erin emphasized her commitment to continuing to provide free events for community members and building relationships with local non-profits to ensure the park stays a home for everyone. Hannah DeNuzzi works at the Glass Jug Beer Lab, which is adjacent to the park. She’s in a drum group that practices every Wednesday under the pavilion, and she and her partner attend the Farmer’s Market every week as a Saturday ritual. For Hannah, Durham Central Park provides something that few other spaces still do.

“I think common spaces are really important,” she said. “Those places are disappearing. The public libraries and the parks and the various places you can hang out and not pay any money to be there, those spaces are really important and they’re really important for fostering community. So, the fact that this space exists and that events can happen here, it builds and builds and builds and builds, and the end result is joy and good things.”

“Even if it’s just a patch of grass, it’s so important to have it here.”

What Providing Space for Community Means

Your support of Durham Central Park is essential to the social, physical, environmental, emotional, and economic health of the Downtown Durham community and beyond.

What do we mean by that? What does a physical piece of land in Durham’s backyard do to help us all thrive? A safe, outdoor gathering space is an essential public services, a reflection of the quality of life in a community. Durham Central Park is a meeting place where:

How does Durham Central Park Inc. help these 5 Acres make a difference?

DCP Inc. maintains, programs, funds Durham Central Park – which encompasses an unending list of projects and community services four seasons and 365 days a year.


As a Friends of the Park non-profit organization, DCP Inc. raises money through donations, grant support, and corporate sponsorship to meet the needs of this essential, dynamic space in downtown. You may know that our small organization is a city-owned park, but Durham Central Park Inc. does not receive city funds to:

Follow our 2022 Year in Review by signing up for our newsletterfollowing us on Instagram, or reading the blog!  All month long we’ll be giving an in-depth look at all the ways Durham Central Park is providing space for community.

How Can I Help?

Help us reach our 2022 fundraising goal! We have so much more planned for next year, and we can accomplish these goals with your help!

We invite you to become a part of the dynamic, ever-changing, and fulfilling work that we do. You can help us financially by:

We hope you will realize your contributions don’t just maintain, but foster and nourish the facilities and grounds. Your dollars go not just to program, but to galvanize our community making way for joy, enterprise, and art. Your gift isn’t just to fund, but to invest in the social, economic, environmental, and physical health of our community.

2022 Parties for the Park!

The Fall Rollout of Parties for the Park starts Monday September 12!

We have several Parties we are excited to unveil, so join our newsletter to get the the details on tickets and all our fall offerings! We’ll have more Parties rolling out throughout the fall so stay in the loop and don’t miss out on all the fun ways to support the park.

Parties for the Park is Durham Central Park’s annual fall fundraiser. The funds raised through Parties for the Park provides 30% of the operating budget for Durham Central Park Inc. DCP is a nonprofit organization with a passion for providing space for community!

For more than 23 years, we have built the infrastructure that makes the DCP beautiful, accessible, functional, comfortable and welcoming to the entire community. The funds raised from Parties for the Park have supported many projects over the years including continuation of our PLAYlist Concert Series, the installation of benches, tables, gardens, trees and art, Mt. Merrill and our newest feature, a larger-than-life troll sculpture and Troll Trail. Additionally, the funds help to cover the usual costs for staffing, maintaining, and programming the park.

Check out the following parties below – click the images below to head to our eventbrite page for more details about each party!


Thanks to all our Party hosts for supporting the work that Durham Central Park does.

Stay tuned for more Parties coming this fall!

What’s the Scoop?

New Pet Waste Scooping Stations in the Park!

We know, we know, this is not the most glamorous park update imaginable.

But hear us out – as a public park that is managed, funded, and programmed by a 501c3 non-profit, we have a ton of regular maintenance that goes into ensuring a safe and enjoyable space where everyone is welcome. This means we spend a lot of time fundraising and working with local community partners to bring about new infrastructure that may not be as thrilling as our double-header Labor Day Weekend coming up!

Nevertheless we are still excited when we can install a feature in the park that helps us continue our mission of providing space for community! And we cannot be more grateful to Broadway Veterinary Hospital for providing Durham Central Park with stations equipped with FREE pet waste bags! When you walk your dog through the park, you’ll find the newest station at the corner of Roney St and Corporation St just down the tree line behind the Durham Central Park Pavilion.

Feel free to use these bags to help keep the park clean and waste-free. Pet waste contains a ton of excess nutrients and bacteria. In addition to it just being downright gross, when pet waste run-off into Ellerbe Creek (the waterway that runs through DCP!), it can lead to excessive aquatic plant blooms, which means depletion of oxygen in the water. When water becomes deprived of oxygen it can create a harsh environment for aquatic life, and that is not good for our environment, our drinking water, and our ecosystems! Scoop the poop with one of our new bags and do your part to keep the waterways clean!

A Huge Thank You To Broadway Veterinary Clinic!

As a nonprofit organization, Durham Central Park fundraises for every bit of maintenance work we put in to keep the park safe for anyone to visit. Supporters like you are the reason DCP continues to be a recreation destination for friends and families to enjoy year-round. If you’d like to support our work, click here to make a donation today.