Durham park gets $20,000 facelift thanks to grant

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Walltown Park in Durham was chosen for a makeover.

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Walltown Park in Durham celebrated its grand reopening Thursday thanks to a $20,000 facelift.

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The park was chosen as a recipient of a grant from the National Recreation and Park Association along with The Walt Disney Company.

"We've been developing a plan to have the grounds of the park look as good as (Walltown Recreational Center)," said Tom Dawson, who serves as associate director for Durham Parks and Recreation. "The center is beautiful, has wonderful architecture. But we really want to tackle the vegetation of the stream to see it to the other side of the park."

Other top priorities for Walltown included the resurfacing of the basketball courts and replacing the hoops so players can dunk, as well as a new horseshoe pit.

Walltown Park got the makeover after residents selected it over Durham's 68 other parks during Earth Month this past April.

"I was casually excited," Dawson said. "It's sort of like one child got a really good birthday gift, and I want to make sure all 68 children (receive a gift)."

Volunteers from across the city and with Parks and Recreation labored with love Thursday as they put on the finishing touches for the park's re-dedication.

"You bring smiles on faces. And it's always a rewarding part of the job," said Patrick Walton, an employee with the city. "An example of this right here, we're doing something for our community. Trying to give them things they always ask for and things they like to be a part of."

Dawson agreed.

"Any way we can make this park better and the center better, we're going to try," Dawson said. "The kids, the adults, the families that come in here, the communities that are created at Walltown Park and Walltown Recreation Center. We just love it."
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