Sustainable Durham Central Park

As Durham Central Park opens its 2022 Event season with the Food Truck Rodeo this Sunday, March 20, we have taken the winter to decide on priorities. We asked ourselves, what makes a Durham Central Park event so great? We of course ensure that all of our programming is free and accessible to anyone and everyone. And there is no compromise on quality. But what is the good of a high quality, free event when it has a high cost to the environment, to our greenspace, and to our beautiful Ellerbee Creek

In consideration of our footprint as a major event venue in Downtown Durham, we are taking large strides in reducing the impact of those events on our environment. Here are five ways you might notice at the Rodeo Sunday that we’ve committed to being more Green.


5 Ways DCP Events Just Got More Sustainable

1. Paper Maps are Out, Virtual is In!

As you walk through the park on Sunday you might need help navigating your way through the many food and drink offerings. How to choose? This year, we made our map interactive so you can click on a truck, vendor, or feature! That way you can find the menus, decide on your path and streamline your Rodeo experience. As you walk through the Rodeo, look for the QR codes we have placed at the DCP table, the bathrooms, A-frames throughout the park, and the welcome banner at the entrance to the park on Hunt and Foster Street. When you scan the QR code it will take you to this page, where you can find the interactive map.

Save this photo or click on it and bookmark the site to get the interactive map!

2. Refillable Soap with Fillaree 

You may be thinking, how can soap be sustainable? But Alyssa from Fillaree explains that refilling is better than just recycling and compost. Refilling prevents the waste in the first place, and as an event venue, you would be surprised by the amount of soap that we go through! Durham Central Park is lucky to have Fillaree as a sponsor, donating refillable soap to make our restrooms trash free (and it happens to be way better soap than that pink slime most venues resort to).

3. H2O 2 Go

Many thanks to the City of Durham for providing an excellent way to keep everyone at the Rodeo hydrated. Did you know it takes 1.85 gallons of water to manufacture the plastic in  a bottle of water? By providing a way to refill a reusable water bottle or cup, we are diverting thousands of bottles of water from the waste stream, and preventing the waste of energy and water used to make the bottles in the first place. The H2O 2 Go trailer is in space #4 next to the restrooms at the pavilion. If you don’t have a refillable bottle to fill up at the trailer, not to worry! You can use our new DCP Reusable Cups!

4. Reusable Cups?! 

That’s right, folks! All our alcohol and craft beverage vendors will be sporting the same 16oz Reusable Cups to keep the thousands of cups used at our Rodeos and other events from going into the landfill. Since plastic cups are not recyclable in Durham, we wanted to create a free reusable alternative to the typical, trashy option. When you are finished with your reusable cups find one of our Waste Recovery Stations and one of our Waste Warriors will help sort the cups to be washed and returned to vendors come the next DCP event. Special thanks to cup sponsors, Ponysaurus, Homebucha, The Glass Jug Beer Lab, Fullsteam, Honeygirl Meadery, Botanist and Barrel, Bull City Burger and Brewery, Durty Bull, Grove Winery and Markabull!

5. Speaking of Waste Warriors… 

We have to say a special thank you to everyone who signs up to volunteer at our Food Truck Rodeo, but especially the Waste Warriors who help us to keep our food waste from going in the landfill. They are stationed at every Waste Recovery location to ensure there is zero contamination in our Compost carts and that we aren’t wish-cycling any pesky plastics. So whenever you decide to come down to the Rodeo, Sunday make sure to show your appreciation to the helpers making this the most low-waste Food Truck Rodeo ever.


Thank you again to Fillaree, H2O 2 Go, The City of Durham Solid Waste Department, Markabull for our new cups, and also to environmental organizations like Don’t Waste Durham and Keep Durham Beautiful for inspiring us to make small changes that have a big impact. 

If you appreciate our efforts and want to support our work, click here to donate to Durham Central Park.


See you Sunday at Durham Central Park’s LOW WASTE Food Truck Rodeo, 12-4pm!