Parks & Recreation Updates

Posted on: April 1, 2018

Vote to Support your Favorite Durham Park this Earth Month

For the fourth year in a row, the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) is collaborating with The Walt Disney Company — including Disney|ABC Television Group, ABC 11 Eyewitness News, and ESPN — to help fund local park improvement projects in 16 U.S. cities through the national “Meet Me at the Park” Earth Month campaign, including a park right here in Durham.

Through the “Meet Me at the Park” Earth Month campaign, an initiative that gives back to places that shape so much of our lives, one of three local parks will receive a $20,000 grant and Durham residents get to choose which one.

Our local parks make Durham a better place to live. Parks are essential to our community’s health and wellbeing as they provide safe places to get active, enjoy nature, preserve the environment and bring people together. That’s why from April 1 to April 30 Durham residents will have the opportunity to help one of three park projects receive $20,000 in grant funding to make improvements. The projects are:

  • East Durham Park was first opened in the 1940s.  Situated just outside of downtown in a residential neighborhood this park serves many residents (approx. 2000) who live within a 10-minute walk of the park.  In addition, the park is also the location of the East Durham Recreation Center, which serves as a preschool from September – May and as a summer day camp site June -August.  The park includes an athletic field, a playground, and a picnic shelter. A tributary to Goose Creek runs through the park. With Meet Me in the Park funding, the existing paved walkway will be transformed to an interpretive nature path and Healthy Mile Trail. Signage along Goose Creek will be developed to explain the importance of plants along the stream for cleaning the water and providing habitat. Adult fitness equipment will be installed. Native grasses will be planted in signage areas.

  • Long Meadow Park was first constructed in the early 1940s.  This urban park contains two little league fields, an outdoor pool, basketball courts, a playground and picnic shelter.   The Goose Creek divides the athletic fields from a future, federally funded trail that will travel through the park. With Meet Me at the Park Funding, interpretive signage explaining the water cycle and the importance of natural habitat in cleaning the water that eventually becomes drinking water for neighbors downstream. Native plants will be reintroduced in the signage areas.  Adult fitness equipment and a Healthy Mile Trail walking circuit will be installed.  This will connect to the R. Kelly Bryant Bridge Trail being developed in next two years.

  • Rock Quarry Park was developed in the 1970’s and features athletic fields, a tennis center, connects the North South Greenway with the Stadium Drive Trail.  In the past five years Rock Quarry Park has also served as the site for DPR’s city-wide cultural festivals and hosts a Vietnam Veterans Memorial.  The park is connected by trail to the Edison Johnson Recreation and Aquatic Centers.  Future improvements planned for the park will improve the suitability of the site for large events, repair and extend the asphalt trail between the Recreation Center and the park. The project will also install a dog park.  With “Meet me at the Park” funding DPR will install adult exercise stations along the trail and create “plants for play” nature playground. These will be installed to connect different amenities within the parks (i.e. athletic fields to playgrounds).

By visiting, park supporters can vote daily for their favorite park project. Voters can also text PARKS to 31279 and receive a link to vote online. * At the end of April, the park project with the most votes will receive grant funding. Everyone who votes will be entered into a drawing for a GoPro Prize Pack.

“We are so pleased to be given another opportunity to enhance one of Durham’s many parks,” said Durham Parks and Recreation Director Rhonda B. Parker. Thanks to the sponsors, especially ABC 11 Eyewitness News, and the many Durham residents who will vote for the park they want to be awarded the $20,000 grant.”

“At NRPA we believe everyone deserves a great park. That’s why we’re proud to collaborate with The Walt Disney Company on this campaign,” said Lori Robertson, NRPA Director of Conservation. “Everyone is encouraged to join us in giving back to the places that shape so much of our lives by participating in this year’s campaign. A vote for your favorite park is all it takes.”  

During April, a public service announcement (PSA) supporting the Meet Me at the Park Earth Month campaign will be shared with audiences across Disney, including ESPN, ABC Television Network, ABC-owned and affiliate stations, Freeform, Disney Channel, Disney XD, Disney Junior, Radio Disney, the ABC Watch app and other platforms. The PSA will also be available to view on the voting site at Additionally, Radio Disney will support the campaign with an on-air radio spot.

Last year, Durham voted for the Walltown Park Enhancement Project to get $20,000. With that funding, the community is now able to enjoy new options for physical activity. This year, resident votes will help improve another one of Durham’s great parks. Part of a $1.5 million investment from The Walt Disney Company, the Meet Me at the Park program supports NRPA and Disney’s combined goal of providing one million kids and families with greater access to play.

This Earth Month, show how parks invigorate your community and vote to improve local parks right here in Durham. Encourage your friends to vote too by taking a selfie in your favorite park and using the hashtags #MeetMeAtThePark, #Parkies and #CelebrateEarth.

For more information and to vote, visit

Note: *Standard message and data rates may apply. The promotions begin at 12 a.m. ET on April 1, 2018, and conclude at 11:59 p.m. ET on April 30, 2018. No purchase necessary to participate. The NRPA Meet Me at the Park Promotion and Voter’s Sweepstakes (collectively, “promotions”) are open to legal residents of the 50 US & DC, who are 18 years of age or older. For complete details and Official Rules for both promotions, visit

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