Improving our Parks: Lakeview Park

By: Annette Smith, Grants and Special Projects Analyst, Sr.

Four years ago, Durham Parks and Recreation (DPR) staff began meeting with residents living near Lakeview Park (3500 Dearborn Dr.). We were invited by the neighborhood and the Duke Neighborhood Partnership to help re-vision the park. At that time the park was a sad remnant of its original design, with only one small slide left in the playground. Over the course of two years we developed a master plan for the park with the growing Braggtown Community Association.

This plan included:
  • A new playground
  • A ground plain mural on the cement pad next to the playground
  • A new picnic area below the playfield
  • Native plants and trees
  • A stage
  • A new restroom
That Master Plan served as the foundation for a proposed Participatory Budgeting project in 2019. While the project did not receive enough votes to receive PB funding, DPR was able to secure two grants, one from the National Recreation and Park Association and Disney, the other from the NC Recreation and Park Association and PlayCore – combined these grants funded the installation of a new playground. DPR added some additional funding to pilot a new safety surfacing product, Access-o-mats, which make the fiber surfacing more stable for persons with disabilities. The new playground opened for play in September 2020.

At the same time, Keep Durham Beautiful received a grant from the Arbor Day Foundation and Bank of American that has funded a significant ground plain mural next to the playground, new trees have been installed and native pollinators will be planted along the roadside section of the park.

In addition to these improvements DPR will be installing picnic tables and grills in a new picnic area below the open playfield. And check out the recently finished mural painted by Durham artist, Wade Williams. The mural is titled "Sunrise over Africa". 

In two years’ time we have accomplished 4 of the 6 items on the Master Plan! The park is becoming the vision of the neighborhood and a true Durham gem. We look forward to our continued work with the Braggtown Community Association, Keep Durham Beautiful and the Duke Neighborhood Partnership as we fully achieve the hopes and dreams of the community for its park.

For more updates on Durham park improvements and projects, visit our website and follow us on social media!