ONLINE application now available for our Nov. 1 Food Truck Rodeo! Durham Central Park has been hosting Food Truck Rodeos since 2010.
We hold 5 rodeos a year that feature over 50 local food trucks and draw in thousands of eaters from all over the area. Our rodeos highlight local food vendors from the Triangle that are MOBILE… ALL vendors must prepare the foods themselves and serve it out of a truck, trailer, minivan, cart, trike or bike!
Change and growth are happening around Durham Central Park (DCP). Apartments and retail are being constructed where the old Liberty Warehouse once stood and condominiums are proposed at 539 Foster Street – at the north end of the park. Over the next few years, there will be lots of construction adjacent to the Park and there will be some changes within the Park as well. The Park’s new neighbors have committed to make agreed upon improvements within the Park. These changes will include the construction of many features, which have been in DCP’s master plan for a long time, including additional paths, more seating and shade, and nicer entrances to the Park. These elements will enhance the beauty and usability of the Park and it will continue to be an open and welcoming space for all residents of Durham.
However, these improvements will come at a cost. Construction around the Park in the coming months and years will create noise, confusion, and inconvenience. The Durham Farmers’ Market will continue to operate, and DCP will continue to host concerts, movies, and other events. These activities will all take place beside barricades and construction fences. Traffic and parking will be disrupted.
But there is light at the end of the tunnel. Here is a sample of what Durham Central Park lovers will get in return:
- A landscaped berm built up against the side of the 539 condo building, facing the Pavilion adding shade and much needed seating to that area of the Park
- A replanted Sister City Grove
- A new drainage system, which will make the now-soggy play field north of the Pavilion playable.
- An extension of the bike/trail sidewalk from the Grace Garden to Corporation Street.
- Attractive entryways to the Park at Corporation Street and near Broadway Street
- A long-dreamed-of walkway between Rigsbee and Foster Streets
While it is nice that our new neighbors are willing to pitch in money and labor to make these improvements, the Park wouldn’t be what it is now without the hundreds of volunteers who have rolled up their sleeves and gotten their hands dirty to create the Park we see today. Many in our community do not realize that Durham Central Park is not operated by the city. The City of Durham owns the land, but Durham Central Park, Inc, a non-profit, manages the space without funds from the city. The organization is run by a volunteer Board of Directors and is supported by hundreds of volunteers who helped to get the ball rolling years ago to organize the public design meetings that envisioned the park, campaigned to pass the bond for the purchase of land, cleared rocks, planted flowers, built walkways, sought donations and grants to build the Pavilion for the Durham Farmers’ Market, the “Leaf” shade structure, and most recently the “Mount Merrill” play area, and helped to bring the Skate Park to DCP. The non-profit Durham Central Park, Inc. and the City of Durham have partnered to create not just a park, but also a community space that is embraced by thousands.
This past year, as developments along our boundaries have been proposed, the City Manager’s Office has recognized the thousands of hours and many thousands of dollars that Durham community members have contributed to make the Park such an appealing destination. The City Manager asked the DCP volunteer Board to meet with prospective developers to make recommendations for our shared property lines so that the long-range vision of DCP remained intact. Our focus in these discussions has been how best to assimilate the edges of these new buildings with our green space. An art wall on the Liberty Warehouse and terraced seating on 539 Foster will go a long way to blend our neighbor’s projects with our Park. The developers recognize the value of the Park, and they want to help enhance it. We welcome these new partners in our efforts to complete the long-envisioned master plan.
DCP, Inc. board members and volunteers recognize our responsibility as stewards of the Park. The community’s sense of ownership is the Park’s greatest asset. We welcome your input and feedback. (Feel free to contact Erin Kauffman, our Executive Director, or any of our board members, listed on our website.) These new opportunities to improve the Park are exciting, but not without bumps along the way. We pledge to do our best to keep the community informed and the Park functioning, and we look forward to a greatly enhanced Park just a few years down the road.
Erin Kauffman, Executive Director
Morgan Haynes, DCP Board President
Curt Eshelman, DCP Co-Founder
Durham Central Park, the five-acre downtown Durham oasis on Foster Street that helped launch the revitalization of a neighborhood that bears its name, has hired a new Executive Director: Erin Kauffman. Kauffman is a familiar face at Durham Central Park, as a former DCP board member and Durham Farmers’ Market long-time Market Manager.
Durham Central Park’s former Executive Director, Ann Alexander, is retiring after six years of service but will serve on the board of directors. “I am thrilled that Erin Kauffman will be the new Executive Director for DCP. Her experience as the manager of the Durham Farmers’ Market and her enthusiasm for DCP in general make her a perfect choice for the job. I look forward to working with Erin in my position as a DCP board member in the years to come. DCP is lucky to have her on board” says Alexander.
Kauffman, a resident of Durham, grew up in small town Maryland. She holds a B.A. in Environmental Studies and Geology from Guilford College. “I would like to see Durham Central Park to flourish as a destination for all the residents of Durham and beyond” says Kauffman. “I see this job as an opportunity to build a sense of community through hosting great events and to encourage people to feel a sense of ownership of the park.” She’s already hit the ground running by arranging Pavilion rentals and preparing for the upcoming events at the Park including the Father’s Day Food Truck Rodeo, the Children’s Independence Day Parade, and the Warehouse Blues Series.
Durham Central Park is a city park, developed and maintained by Durham Central Park, Inc., a 501(c)(3) organization.
Durham Central Park applied for Whole Foods Market Durham‘s 5% Day program, and won! On Tuesday, May 19, 5% of all market and cafe sales will be given to Durham Central Park. STORE HOURS ARE 7 AM-9 PM. Buy some groceries, have breakfast, lunch or dinner. Treat grandma to coffee and dessert, host a farm to table dinner with friends, get some take away, stock up on bulk items or wine–5% of everything goes to DCP, a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization. Thank you! http://
(APPLICATION PERIOD IS NOW CLOSED) Executive Director Job Description
The Executive Director (ED) assists the Board of Directors of Durham Central Park, Inc. (DCP) in carrying out its mission of creating a unique, 5-acre urban park that offers a venue for a variety of cultural activities that engage the diverse Durham community in activities focusing on the arts, recreation, natural beauty and community building.
As key staff person for this dynamic non-profit organization, the ED is involved to some degree in every facet of operations and activities. The ED works closely with an active Board, its Executive Committee and other project-oriented committees to achieve organizational goals. Although the board and hired staff might help accomplish some of the duties described below, the ED is responsible for getting the job done. The ED reports to the Board of Directors, with day-to-day supervision from the Board’s Executive Committee.
Prefer to have ED live in Durham and have personal knowledge of the Durham community, business experience as well as experience working with non-profits.
Primary Job Responsibilities:
- Financial and organizational management
- Fundraising development
- Community engagement
- Event Planning and volunteer recruitment
- Property management
- Branding, Publicizing and Social Media
- Proven track record of independent management
- Business background
- Flexible time sometimes with weekend duties
- Proficient computer skills
- Excellent communication and writing skills
- Sense of humor, good team player and maturity
- Interest in DCP and community building
Hours and Salary:
Flexible hours. Salary commensurate with experience.
We are hoping to hire someone no later than May 15 and could do so earlier if need be.
Please send resumes to Durham Central Park, Inc., PO Box 1526, Durham, NC 27702 or email to [email protected]
Kroger’s new “Community Rewards” program is a way to turn your regular shopping (everything but stamps, lottery, etc.) into an instant donation to Durham Central Park. Sign up today at https://www.kroger.com/communityrewards and be sure to use your Rewards card when you shop. We are non-profit #92915. Thank you!
Have you seen our red cardinal logo on the new Durham Central Park Pavilion sign, the cardinals at the top of Mt. Merrill’s pole’s or the cardinal sculpture kids love to play on across the park’s bridge? Durham Central Park’s aptly-named annual fundraising campaign, the Cardinal Campaign, is in full swing. Our income sources are simple: 30% from rentals of the Pavilion, 40% from events like Meals from the Market and Food Truck Rodeos and 30% from the Cardinal Campaign. We receive no financial support from the City of Durham. Everything we do to improve and maintain the park comes from community support. Join the fun!!! It’s easy to give, and contributions are tax deductible: http://
DCP Board Chair Lee Ann Tilley has some impressive final stats to share about this year’s Meals From The Market, which netted $3200 more than last year for Durham Central Park:
Dear friends and hosts, I want to share some of the numbers as we close out our Meals from the Market season:
We’d like to give a shout out to one of our local business partners, Fisher Graphic Arts. Mitch Fitcher does great signs, murals, custom framing, and has done lots of pro bono work for the Park. Where can you see his work? Forest Hills Neighborhood signs and the Durham Farmers’ Market sign, to name a few. Their showroom is in Old West Durham. www.fishergraphicarts.com.