Change is coming to Durham Central Park

Change and growth are happening around Durham Central Park (“Why are negotiations between a developer and Durham Central Park being held behind closed doors?” June 10). Over the next few years, there will be construction adjacent to DCP and some changes within it as well. DCP’s new neighbors have committed to make agreed-upon improvements within the park, including the construction of features that have been in DCP’s master plan for a long time. These elements will enhance the park’s beauty and usability, and it will continue to be an open, welcoming space for the community.

While it is nice that our new neighbors are willing to pitch in money and labor to make these improvements, DCP wouldn’t be what it is now without the hundreds of volunteers who have rolled up their sleeves and gotten their hands dirty to create the park we see today. Many in our community do not realize that DCP is not operated by the city. The city of Durham owns the land, but Durham Central Park Inc., a nonprofit, manages the space without funds from the city.

This past year, as developments along our boundaries have been proposed, the city manager’s office, recognizing that DCP is a sacred space, asked the DCP volunteer board to meet with prospective developers to make recommendations for the shared property lines so that our long-range vision remained intact. Our focus in these discussions has been how best to assimilate the edges of these new buildings with our green space. An art wall on the Liberty Warehouse and terraced seating on 539 Foster will go a long way to blend our neighbor’s projects with our park. We welcome these new partners in our efforts to complete the long-envisioned master plan.

DCP Inc. board members and volunteers recognize our responsibility as stewards of the park. The community’s sense of ownership is the park’s greatest asset. We welcome your input and feedback.

Erin Kauffman, Executive DirectorMorgan Haynes, DCP Board PresidentCurt Eshelman, DCP Co-Founder

The full text of this letter appears at