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Become a Citizen Science Super-Hero

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By: Annette Smith, Grants and Special Projects Analyst, Sr A Bioblitz is a community science initiative to help catalog the biodiversity of a local area in a short time period. The Ellerbe Creek Bioblitz 2021 began Friday, September 24th and goes through Sunday, October 3rd. This is your opportunity to become a citizen science super-hero! Get outside and have fun learning about the nature around us while generating data that can be used for science and conservation. This fun and nature-packed week is brought to you by an incredible partnership of organizations led by Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association and including Keep Durham Beautiful, the Eno River Association, NC Museum of Life and Science, El Futuro, Burt’s Bees Foundation, Merrick-Moore Community Development Corporation and many more. Durham Parks Foundation is partnering with the New Hope Audubon Society and Urban Community Agronomics for Birding 101 and East End Park on Saturday, October 2nd, from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and

Volunteer of the Month: Terry VanHoose

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By: Mal Atkinson, Resource Coordinator Terry VanHoose has been a wonderful addition to the volunteer pool for DPR. Not only has he taken on the responsibility of being the lead instructor for Walltown’s Youth Golf academy for the past two years, you can also find Terry volunteering for many of the special events, athletic, and Cultural Heritage programs. Terry has the exceptional ability to learn something about each participant (grade level, siblings, other athletic interests, etc.) remember it and incorporate it into each class making for a more personal experience. Amanda Johnson, Recreation Supervisor of the Walltown Park Recreation Center shares that Terry has incredible patience. “Working with an energetic group of kids can sometimes be challenging” she says. She goes on to say that Terry has a friendly yet direct way of getting them to focus because he has a good way of "reading the group." If he sees they are getting restless or distracted, he'll throw in a s

Say Hello to the New Belmont Park

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Belmont Park received quite the renovation this year! From a bicycle pump track and a public art sculpture to cedar benches and a strider bike track, you're in for a fun afternoon exploring this park with family and friends! The transformation at Belmont Park , located at 2202 Sovereign Street, was made possible through Durham's Participatory Budget (PB) Improvement Projects. The program has been a priority by Durham City Council since 2018 to empower and amplify community voices to help them decide in greater detail how funds will be spent. Durham Parks and Recreation team members hosted a community conversation to co-develop ideas on the design, with the results focusing on environmentally-friendly enhancements to  create active and passive space uses. The leading wish of the neighborhood and premier feature of the park is the bicycle pump track. This feature includes a looped circuit of hills, berms, and banked turns designed to be ridden completely by riders using an "

Coming Soon! Durham's First Dedicated Pickleball Facility

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By: Cynthia Booth, Senior Public Affairs Analyst We're excited to announce that we will be installing our first dedicated pickleball facility at Piney Wood Park, located at 400 E Woodcroft Pkwy. Durham Parks and Recreation will be able to host sanctioned tournaments, clinics, lessons, ladder play, and of course, a lot of open play with this new 14 court facility. According to the Sports & Fitness Industry Association, pickleball—a cross between ping pong, tennis, and badminton—is among the fastest-growing sports in the nation. The court is about a third of the size of a tennis court and uses a paddle and a pickleball, a colorful perforated hard plastic ball. The Durham Area Pickleball Players (DAPP) hosted a Bull City Open Pickleball Tournament to raise funds to provide lighting at the future dedicated pickleball facility coming soon to Piney Wood Park. The tournament was held at Bethesda Park on Friday, July 30 –Sunday, August 1.  Tournament Director/Durham Ambassador Tracey T

Pop-Up Disc Golf in Durham, Say What!?

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This summer, we took Disc Golf to a whole new level! In May 2021, we launched the first-ever Pop-Up Disc Golf Course to take place in our Durham Parks! Currently located at Forest Hills Park, this 9 hole course is a Par 3, perfect for all skill levels to learn the sport or take on new challenges. Over 1,000 people have played the course so far, so what are you waiting for!? The course is free for anyone to enjoy, just make sure you have the proper equipment to play! Grab your discs and start playing! Head on over to Forest Hills Park, located at 1639 University Drive. The first hole is on the right of the parking lot, next to the light pole in the field. Check out the image on the right featuring a map of the course layout. For an even better visual of the Forest Hills Park disc course, check out this drone flyover video on YouTube , filmed by Durham resident Gui Rimkevicius. Like we mentioned, this is a Pop-Up course...so it won't be around much longer! Stay tuned for more informa

Volunteer of the Month: John Rives

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By: Mal Atkinson, Resource Coordinator John Rives exemplifies what a volunteer should be. As a longtime member of the Durham Community Trail Watch he has contributed countless of hours to the city’s trails and greenways. Additionally, John has coordinated or led the Full Moon Fever Ride since 2013. On Saturday August 21 John led a group of 20 riders, many of them first timers, up the American Tobacco Trail to experience trail riding at night. Durham Parks and Recreation’s volunteers have fun while making a huge difference. Whether they are building and maintaining trails, helping with an event, or working with our youth, we couldn’t do it without them. Thank you, John for your commitment to the Durham community. Thank you, John for Playing More with DPR! This Fall is full of opportunities to volunteer with Durham Parks and Recreation! From special events to park and trail cleanups to coaching youth sports, we have plenty of ways for residents to give back and be part of making a d

Just Released: The Fall 2021 Play More Guide

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We are excited to announce the official release of our September - December 2021 Play More Guide! We've got 68 pages of fun, interactive and educational programs and activities for all ages, intensity levels and interests. Whether you go on a History Hike at West Point on the Eno or sign up for the Bike Rodeo at Walltown Park Recreation Center, there is something for everyone! Don't wait too long to sign up! Spots fill up fast! If the program you are interested in requires preregistration, head over to ActiveNet to register today! Please note: All information in the program guide is subject to change. Please refer to the COVID-19 page on our website for the most up-to-date information on our openings and closings. How do I register for a program? We have an online registration portal, called Active Net , that allows participants to register for most programs in the comfort of their own home. You can search for your favorite programs by keyword, age, day, time, location and mo

Become a Certified Lifeguard...for Free!

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Lifeguarding has been seen traditionally as a summer job for teenagers, but did you know Durham Parks and Recreation employs lifeguards year-round? Campus Hills Pool and Edison Johnson Aquatic Center are two of the City of Durham's Indoor year-round facilities. Regardless of the season, the pool is always 84 degrees and open for the community with lifeguards always present in case of an emergency. Durham Parks and Recreation is continually recruiting, training, and hiring lifeguards to keep pools open and swimmers safe. In our recruitment efforts, Durham Parks and Recreation is offering FREE American Red Cross Lifeguard Training classes through our Durham Aquatic School (DAS). These training classes, normally a $190 cost, are offered in the hope that class participants will take their hard-earned lifeguarding certification and work for Durham Parks and Recreation. Additionally, by providing the training at no cost, the City of Durham aims to remove the barrier for entry and make