Posts

Get to know Wade Walcutt, DPR's New Director

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We hope you've heard the great news by now (or you might be living under a rock)...but we have a new Director of Parks and Recreation, Wade Walcutt. Wade joined the team in October 2020 and has been learning the ropes ever since. He comes to Durham with excitement, experience and energy! If you seem him out and about, don't hesitate to stop and say hello! For now, here's a quick introduction with some get-to-know-you questions... How long have you been in the Parks and Recreation field? 20 years, (I started when I was 5) What is your favorite thing about working in Parks and Recreation? People. The people I work with and the people that make up the community. In my experience people who work in Parks and Recreation are typically people who are drawn or called to it, who want to serve the community, who believe that what they do matters and impacts people and changes lives and communities. I love building relationships, learning and helping others. Whether its working direct

Discover the Drop Spindle

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By: Katrina Wood, Master Program Specialist Learning to craft materials as a new hobby (or pandemic pastime) awaits you this Spring! Durham Parks and Recreation is offering a two-session workshop on weaving with a Drop Spindle, a wooden instrument with a weighted whorl and typically, a hook or notch. Join a spinner, weaver, knitter, and living history professional who can tell you all about the origins of materials and how different types of wool are used in one’s everyday life.  Hannah Smith will conduct a Drop Spindle workshop on April 10 and 24 via Zoom, and while she’s been knitting since her freshman year in college (and quickly finding that she couldn’t be without her wheel while her friends were attending parties), she does not expect workshop participants to arrive with as many years of experience. In speaking with Hannah, her enthusiasm for weaving with a variety of materials and her ability to share that enthusiasm with participants will appeal to weavers of all skill levels.

Slide into Summer with DPR

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We're only a few months away from summer and you know what that means....Durham Park and Recreation Summer Camps are almost here! We're excited to announce that youth and teen summer camps will be held Monday, June 14 through Friday, August 13, 2021. Campers will enjoy a host of socially distant indoor and outdoor recreation activities including: fitness fun, arts and crafts, games, friendship building activities, and much more.  As always, our main goal is to provide our participants with a safe environment to play and have social experiences. During this time of concern with the COVID-19 pandemic there have been many discussions on how to make the Summer Camp experience safe, yet fun for our participants. Please know that every consideration has been made with the best possible safety practices in place to protect our participants, their families, and our staff. Youth & Teen Summer Camps Youth summer camps are open to ages 5-12. Child must have completed kindergarten and

DPR Volunteer of the Month: Tracey Taylor

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By: Mal Atkinson, Resource Coordinator Durham Parks and Recreation has been extremely fortunate to have Tracey Taylor as one of our amazing volunteers. Tracey is a Durham native and grew up playing sports both in school and with DPR. Her parents insisted that she keep her grades up to participate in sports and she claims this incentive helped motivate her to “make it” through school. She is grateful for the sports programs offered in her youth and she said, “It feels good to give back to DPR”. For the past year, Tracey has been a driving force behind DPR’s pickleball tournaments and ladders. Tracey has worked tirelessly in helping promote pickleball within the Durham community. Not only does Tracey commit her time to volunteering with DPR’s pickleball program, she is an invaluable resource in helping recruit other volunteers to assist with our tournaments and ladders. She brings her dynamic personality and “can do” attitude to every event and has accumulated an extensive number of hour

Durham Senior Games: Dr. Gooche's Story

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By: Cynthia Booth, Senior Public Affairs Analyst Recently I had the opportunity to interview Dr. Louise Gooche, a long time participant and supporter of the North Carolina and Durham Senior Games. She is the past Chairman of the Board of Directors with the North Carolina State Senior Games and is an educational trainer for the ambassadors in North Carolina, serving on the local coordinator's committee. She is elated because she can be involved on a state and local level and talk to people about participating in the games – specifically in Durham. Dr. Gooche is also a colon cancer survivor and being a cheerleader was on her bucket list so she started the Durham Senior Diva's N Dudes squad. She learned how to do a split at 62. She is proud of the fact that the topper on their pyramid is in her 80's and can climb to a full stand. She said, “…age is but a number, and we don't let numbers stop us. I am 78, and I am still doing pretty good.” Here's Dr. Gooche's Senior

My Durham: History of the Underground Railroad

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My Durham ended Black History Month with a program about the Underground Railroad. Over the course of two days the program was conducted at the Weaver Street Recreation Center and the Durham Teen Center. This program is part of a larger program, working in conjunction with the Outdoor Recreation Unit. During the program, teens had the opportunity to learn about the origins and some of the facets of the Underground Railroad. Drawing from the book, Hidden in Plain View – A Secret Story of Quilts and the Underground Railroad, participants learned how freedom-seekers used encoded messages within quilt patterns to help them navigate their escape along the Underground Railroad. To make the experience real for the teens, they had the opportunity to touch and hold a replica of one of these quilts and discover the meaning behind each pattern. The teens also learned about the most famous conductor on the Underground Railroad, Harriet Tubman. Teens were able to view a picture by the artist, Jacob

Aiming for Excellence: Recognizing Nationally Certified DPR Staff

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Did you know that Park and Recreation professionals have the opportunity to go above and beyond in their field to become nationally certified? The Certified Park and Recreation Professional (CPRP) certification is specifically designed for professionals in parks and recreation who desire to take their career to the next level. Through the National Recreation and Park Association, those who meet the proper requirements are eligible to take an exam testing their knowledge, skills and abilities in the field. With a total of 150 questions, the exam focuses on five specific core competencies in the Park and Recreation field: Operations, Human Resources, Finance, Communication and Programming. Exam preparation takes months of studying, completing practice questions and reading. Once the exam has been passed, the journey of being certified is not over! The certification is valid for 2 years and in order to renew, Park and Recreation professionals must earn a specific amount of CEU's (Cont

'Reel' in the Fun at our City Lakes

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With the temperatures warming up outside, we can't think of a better time to announce the opening of our City Lakes! Little River and Lake Michie open to the public this Friday, March 12 and will remain open through Monday, November 8, 2021. Lake hours are from 6:30 a.m.-6 p.m on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday.  City Lakes will open with limited operations and capacities in order to meet state and local social distancing requirements. The health and safety of our patrons and staff are our top priority. Please do your part and practice social distancing at the lakes by remaining at least 6 feet away from others. Additionally, a face-covering is required at all times, when social distancing is not possible. Lake Michie is only open for personal boat launches and bank fishing. Non-motorized boat launches and bank fishing will be on a first-come, first-serve basis. The first-come, first-serve canoe and kayak launches are car top only. The trailered canoes and kayaks will need to