DCP Pavilion Undergoes Improvements

The Pavilion at Durham Central Park is getting a major update:

Painting begins at the DCP Pavilion today, January 19, 2022, and will continue throughout the next month! Yes, this means the pavilion will be periodically closed off to park patrons. Because of weather, rentals, and the painting process, the painting of the pavilion will take place intermittently. So be sure to check if the pavilion has caution tape out before heading to the pavilion for recreation. If the pavilion is roped off and there are painters under the pavilion please enjoy the many other attractions at DCP like the pollinator garden and bee hotel, Mt. Merrill, the Pixel Wall, Barnaby D. Troll and more on the east side of the park.

We will be closing off the pavilion intermittently. Please avoid the highlighted area when you see the pavilion entrances roped off with caution tape.

The Pavilion at Durham Central Park opened with a grand celebration in 2007. Since then, it has hosted weddings, classes, festivals, events, and of course, the Durham Farmers’ Market. The market and other rentals will continue to be open while the painting process goes on, but during the week, we will be restricting access to the pavilion.

 

Gonzales Painters and Contractors, Inc. Begins painting in the Durham Central Park Pavilion
Gonzales Painters and Contractors have begun painting the DCP Pavilion

We’d like to thank Gonzales Painters and Contractors Inc. for providing quality improvement to our beloved pavilion! This will be the first time since the DCP Pavilion opened that we’ve done painting improvements. Routine maintenance is key to keeping our well loved park a safe, dynamic, and fun place to be!

 

Like the improvements we’re making?

Support the work we do to keep the park amazing by donating todayDurham Central Park Inc. is a 501(c)3 that relies on donations and sustainers to maintain, program, and fund this beautiful green space downtown Durham.

DCP Board Members Match the First $25,000 of Your Donations!

The place for community once again is Durham Central Park. As we have navigated the ever-changing pandemic, this park – a five-acre oasis in downtown, open to everyone – has never been more vital.

Our staff of three, along with hundreds of volunteers, board members, new neighbors, and supporters, like you, make it possible for Durhamites and visitors to enjoy the park’s lush gardens and trails, tranquil benches and gorgeous vistas. We maintain this beating heart of the city’s center, 24/7/365, fulfilling the promise made decades ago to transform an overgrown, trash-strewn eyesore into a lively community gathering space. At no time since has this beautiful, accessible park been so important.

This city park, however, is like no other in Durham. It is managed, programmed and improved by a 501c3 non-profit organization, DCP, Inc. We receive no city funding for this work. We oversee all aspects of the park – presenting free programming, hosting hundreds of events at the Pavilion, overseeing the daily maintenance and management of the space.

These past two years, we have put a sharp focus on improving and expanding the park’s gardens, trails, and trees. Heading into 2022, our focus will be on improvements and repairs to the park’s aging facilities, increasing seating, strengthening our free programming and community partnerships. Most importantly, we will spend time visioning and planning for the future so that the park can continue to meet the demands of our growing city.

I invite you to support us or renew your commitment to Durham Central Park by:

  •         Joining as a Friend of Durham Central Park through a three-year pledge of support
  •         Becoming a Monthly, Quarterly, or Annual Park Sustainer
  •         Making a Year-End Gift

This fall, a generous group of DCP, Inc. board members will be matching the first $25,000 of your donations in this year end campaign. Your gift offers comfort and inclusion for all in the heart of a rapidly changing Durham. Thank you for your support and helping to chart our course for a successful 2022.

With gratitude,

Erin Kauffman, Executive Director

Nil Ghosh, Board Chair

 

 

Soul Understated: PLAYlist Concert Series finale Friday

PLAYlist’s finale night, Friday, October 1, presents Soul Understated featuring Mavis “Swan” Pool! Led by vocalist extraordinaire Mavis ’SWAN’ Poole (Lauryn Hill, Prince) and powerful yet melodic drummer Jeremy ‘BEAN’ Clemons (who has performed with Gregory Porter and Burning Spear), Soul Understated delivers a beautifully performed organic sound with stellar musicianship. As a result, they’ve appeared at such major festivals as The Blue Note Jazz Fest, The Brooklyn Hip Hop Fest and Toronto Jazz Festival. Mavis appeared in the HBO series Vinyl! Check out this Kennedy Center footage and look at all this local talent rounding out the band:

Branden Williams II – Keyboards
Hugh Swaso – Guitar
Stacy Dillard – Saxophones
Al Strong – Trumpet
Brevan Hampden – Percussion

WNCU’s Friday night Funk, Old School and Disco show and its host, DJ Travis Gales, simulcasts live from Durham Central Park at 7 p.m. Soul Understated play a 90-minute set at 8 p.m. Local food and beverage vendors are Amagee’s, Oink n’ Moo, Epic Vegan Food Truck, JAM Ice Cream, Glass Jug, Bull City Burger and Brewery and Portfolio Group.

Reserve your free tickets and we’ll see you at the park Friday!

Fun Things to Do at DCP This Weekend

Fun Things to Do at Durham Central Park This Weekend

Saturday, April 10, 1-9 p.m. Downtown Durham Inc. is closing the Durham Central Park section of Foster Street to cars and opening it to pedestrian traffic with outdoor seating and buskers. It’s called The Streetery! You can shop, people watch, play, carry out, dine in or dine out (picnic!)

The Streetery is popping up in different sections of downtown on the 2nd and 4th Saturday of each month. Help us maintain a safer, socially distanced, outdoor downtown experience. Wear a mask while in The Streetery, keep six feet away from people who aren’t in your group and respect the rules our small merchants have put in place to protect their customers and staff. Buskers/street performers:

1-3 p.m. Darrien Rutherford, guitarist

5:30-7:30 p.m. Matt and Maceo Grady, folk/soul duo

5:30-7:30 p.m. Dakota Fox, acrobat and stiltwalker

6-8 p.m. The Cabinet of Wishes, performance poetry

NEW! Food Truck Sunday, April 11, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

Food Truck Sunday at Durham Central Park is a time to slow down, enjoy the day, get some local food–to go, or to make a picnic in the park. We will feature 1-2 trucks per afternoon and City of Durham social distancing guidelines apply.

Today’s featured truck is Bull City Street Food, home of the “Fat Bull” burger. BCSF offers unique & delicious street foods from various regions from around the world. Save room for dessert, The Frozen Bull will be there too!

Other News

NEW! Story Time with Barnaby D. Troll Starts Tuesday, March 30

Story Time with Barnaby D. Troll

Tuesdays 10:30-11:30 a.m.

Durham Central Park’s NEW, free weekly program for preschoolers and their families starts March 30th. Join us each Tuesday, from 10:30-11:30 a.m., at the Leaf when instructor Ms. Kristin reads a favorite children’s story, sings a song or two and re-create the story through play on the ADA-accessible Mt. Merrill playground. After Story Time, you can continue to visit Barnaby, Mr. Pickles the Turtle, Rockin’ Reuben the Cardinal, and create a complimentary craft.
  • Best for ages 2-5 years
  • Masks are required for adults and children 5 and up; recommended for younger children if possible.
  • Parents/caregivers must stay with their child the entire hour and are ultimately responsible for their child’s/childrens’ behaviors.
  • Rain Location: The Pavilion
Meet Story Time wit Barnaby D. Troll’s Ms. Kristin: Kristin has worked with young children for more than 30 years as a Speech-Language Pathologist in private settings and in the school system. Her love is sharing favorite stories with preschoolers and then retelling the stories as the children actively participate through language, music and play. Ms. Kristin is excited to use Durham Central Park as a platform to read her favorite children’s books.

Friends of Durham Central Park Program Unveiled!

Durham Central Park is still the place for community, even in a most unusual year.

Amid the tumult of 2020, the value of these precious five acres in the heart of downtown was indisputable. During stay at home orders, the Park remained open for exercise, play, dog walks, fresh air, and safe socializing as we adhered to local and state protocols. 

Despite restrictions on gathering, beneficial activities continued in the Park. The Durham Farmers’ Market reopened in May, offering fresh food and supporting local farmers. Yoga, exercise and dance classes resumed in the Park in July, while studios and gyms remain closed. 

Park improvements advanced. Barnaby D. Troll, a generous gift from the Evans Family, took his place alongside the new creekside trail. Kids of all ages can now visit and climb on sleeping Barnaby or easily explore the Ellerbee Creek. New benches were added and soon, we will install a new, terraced garden behind the Pavilion and plant more than 25 trees to enhance natural beauty and increase shade in the Park.

These plantings signal a grand new redesign, a comprehensive land-use plan we will commission shortly that promises exciting new features for our beloved Park. 

The Park enhanced the physical, social, and emotional health of our community and helped Durham cope with a global tragedy. Even though event cancellations caused a notable drop in revenue, the success of our new Friends of Durham Central Park program mitigated our 2020 operating deficit and put us on solid financial footing going forward.  

DCP, Inc. is grateful for the stalwart support of people like you, which allowed us to accomplish so much in the midst of a pandemic. Your tax-deductible gift of any amount, from $10 to $1,000,  helps us continue our mission of Providing Space for Community. We encourage supporters who can manage it to join the Friends of Durham Central Park by making a three-year pledge—a solemn commitment that will support the park’s operations for years to come. 

Please do what you can (Friend, Sustainer or one-time donor) to ensure as Durham grows and changes, our diverse offerings will continue to invite people downtown to enjoy a place of comfort and inclusion for all.

Sincerely,

Erin Kauffman, Executive Director

Durham Central Park, Inc.

Parties For The Park Is Back!

Does it feel that summer party you wanted to have never quite happened? CELEBRATE in autumn. The wait is over–we’re unveiling our Parties for the Park fundraiser series today and tickets are on sale now! We’ve got virtual parties, an outdoor party and a silent auction for a week-long stay at this fantastic Sugar Mountain vacay home:

Sugar Mountain vacation house silent auction

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., a 501c3 not-for-profit organization.

For more than 22 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.

By buying tickets to these parties, you will be helping to keep Durham Central Park a vibrant and accessible community space:

Trivia Night with Arturo Sanchez #1, Sept 30
Trivia Night with Arturo Sanchez #2, Oct. 1
A Tour of Italian Wines… From Home!, Oct 9
Deep Fried Swap Meet Hootenanny, Oct 10
Take and Bake! An Italian Meal to Warm the COVID Heart, Oct 18
Kingfisher Presents: Real Cocktails/Virtual Party, Oct 22

Read all about the parties at PartiesforthePark.org

The silent auction for the Sugar Mountain Vacation Home (pictured above) will be live from October 14-18.

If Zoom or in-person parties aren’t something you are up for right now, but you want to just have a party or picnic with close friends, family or Quaranteam and make a donation to DCP, that is also wonderful.

NEW addition to Durham Central Park

Down by the creek and under the bridge at Durham Central Park, a new trail is taking shape! The trail will run from Mt. Merrill down to the creek, under the bridge and back up to Hunt Street. It is designed to add shaded play area and make the creek more accessible for kids and grownups. The creek will be lined with large boulders to both stabilize the creek banks and allow for easy creek exploration.

But, it’s not JUST a trail… the Cardinal and Turtle will be getting a new friend! When the trail is finished, a new, custom, climbable sculpture will be installed next to the trail. Right now, the sculpture is being built in the Liberty Arts Foundry in the park by WallerFoushee Studios (of Major The Bull fame). Next time you are visiting the park, take a peak into the Foundry and see if you can guess who it will be.

Increasing shaded, playable area in Durham Central Park has been in DCP Inc.’s Master Plan for many years. Thanks to the generosity of the Evans Family, this trail and our new friend will be coming to the park later this summer for everyone to enjoy! Durham Central Park is a 5-acre city owned park located in the heart of Downtown Durham. The park is managed, developed and programmed by Durham Central Park, Inc. a 501c3 non-profit organization.

DCP Rocks Bingo!

Durham Central Park rocks and we’ve got your second themed park bingo/scavenger hunt ready! At your leisure, and following physical distancing and face mask mandates, come to DCP with this “rock” and why “DCP rocks” bingo card. Post your pictures of what you or the young people in your life discover.

Durham Central Park is a 5-acre city owned park located in the heart of Downtown Durham. The park is managed, developed and programmed by Durham Central Park, Inc. a 501c3 non-profit organization. Our Mission: Providing Space for Community.

Durham Central Park is a place filled with natural beauty and man-made wonders. Yet, in a way, it is also a blank canvas—an empty stage ready to be the setting for your story.

Our mission is providing space for community, which means a number of things including:

–Continuing to maintain and improve an already amazing urban park;
–Working hard to ensure that the park is accessible to everyone;
–Hosting enjoyable, free events to enliven the park and enrich the community;
–Offering an affordable and attractive venue in the heart of downtown; and Safeguarding a place for people to gather in celebration or rally around a shared belief, meet up with friends or just be alone for a moment, appreciate public art or simply play in nature—a place for Durham to be Durham.

If you haven’t had a chance to play the first in our series, Pollinator Bingo (in honor of Pollinator Week last month, and Durham’s status as a Bee City, you can access the bingo card here