VOTE: 1 of 3 Durham parks has chance to receive $20,000

(Credit: National Recreation and Park Association)

For the fourth year in a row, the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) is collaborating with The Walt Disney Company, including ABC11 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.

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.

Click here to vote!


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).

"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."

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.

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, visit or call 919-560-4355.

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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community-eventsdisneymeet me at the parkESPNabc11 togetherDurhamDurham CountyNC
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