Home to some of Durham's big community events, ambitious plans are ahead for creating a play place for kids at Durham Central Park.
A nonprofit leases the five acres in downtown Durham from the city of Durham and manages the park's events. The park has become a bustling destination in Durham where you can find the popular farmers' market, food truck rodeos and more.
Now the group is working to raise $120,000 to build Mount Merrill on the eastern edge of the park. Plans call for the space to include slides, climbing pieces, amphitheater seating and more.
It's named after Merrill Davis, whose family owns the neighborhood nursery and garden store, Stone Brothers & Byrd. Davis died in a car accident last year.
"He was one of our biggest supporters," said Ann Alexander, the park's executive director.
Plans for a better play space at the park came about three years ago when the group surveyed park users about what they wanted. One response was more interactive areas for kids to play. The park has two climbing structures - a bird and a turtle - which have gotten a lot of use. A community group was formed with some moms from the neighborhood and others and they got to work.
The plans now call for two slides - a little slide and a big one; climbing net; big curving benches; amphitheater seating; a look-out area; boulder climb; sculptural art; and more.
Alexander said they hope to open the park in the late spring or summer. The group is in the process of raising $120,000 toward the project. Donations are tax deductible.
Check Durham Central Park's website for more information and how you can help.