Published: Jul 07, 2012 07:00 PM
Modified: Jul 05, 2012 12:33 PM
Public invited toJuly 17 workshop
Anyone with an opinion on how to improve the long-standing issue of poor pedestrian connectivity along downtown’s Blackwell-Corcoran-Foster Street corridor should mark their calendar now to attend the first-ever “Urban Design Studio” focusing on this issue.
The public meeting is set for 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 17, in the Historic Parrish Street Forum, located at 108 W. Parrish St.
Hosted by the Durham City-County Planning Department, this issue will be covered as part of a new ongoing series intended to be pro-bono design charrettes or visioning workshops the department will develop and run for a variety of projects, such as the Blackwell-Corcoran-Foster Street corridor issue.
“We are very excited to offer Urban Design Studios as a part of our community engagement efforts. There are always important urban design issues that benefit from a public dialogue and vision, but are not specifically on the Planning Department’s work program,” said Durham City-County Planning Director Steve Medlin. “This series will allow our Urban Design Center staff to work collaboratively with community stakeholders on projects which have the potential to dramatically shape our environment, but would otherwise not receive our attention.”
The goal for this first studio project is to develop potential ways to address the long-standing issue of poor pedestrian connectivity in this area of downtown. The event will include a variety of visioning and brainstorming exercises to engage stakeholders in identifying obstacles and devising solutions. The results of the studio will then be used by a group of City departments to prioritize future pedestrian improvements in this corridor.
All interested parties are welcome to attend. Any person with a disability may receive an auxiliary aid or service to effectively participate in this event by contacting the City’s ADA Coordinator at 919-560-4197 or by email to ADA@DurhamNC.gov, as soon as possible, but no later than 48 hours before the event.
For more information on the Urban Design Series, visit http://bit.ly/O14Fcj or contact Urban Design Center Supervisor Sara Young, AICP, with the Durham City-County Planning Department, at 919-560-4137, ext. 28256 or by email at Sara.Young@DurhamNC.gov
.Sprite grant to refurbish park
Local teens will soon be able to express their most uncontainable basketball moves on a refurbished court in Durham. Elmira Avenue Park recently received a $15,000 grant based on votes it earned through the national Sprite Spark Parks Project initiative, which refreshes courts in public parks and recreation centers throughout the country.
Voting in the Sprite Spark Parks Project, a joint program from Sprite and the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), took place on March 28-May 31 at SpriteSparkParks.com. Thanks to the more than 41,000 votes it received, Elmira Avenue Park, located at 540 Elmira Ave., has been awarded a grant that will be used to fund a new basketball goal system, repair the surface and re-strip the courts.
“We would like to thank everyone who supported Elmira Avenue Park in the Sprite Spark Parks Project,” said Hager Rand, president of Durham Coca-Cola Bottling Co.. “The court will soon be a cleaner, safer, more fun place to play and we can’t wait to see our young local basketball players using it to hone their skills.”
The 12.13-acre park was constructed in the 1970’s and has had very little renovation other than the recent addition of lights for the tennis courts. Elmira Avenue Park is heavily used and accessible from the Rocky Creek Greenway for those without cars. The park was adopted in September 2010 by a local community organization named Diverse Southern Productions (DSP, Inc.).
“Basketball courts such as Elmira Avenue Park are among the best places teens can go to be physically active, improve their health and have fun with friends,” said Rhonda B. Parker, director of Parks and Recreation. “The overwhelming participation in the Sprite Spark Parks Project proved that the preservation of vital public spaces like basketball courts is important to people everywhere, and that is a great thing to see.”
Elmira Avenue Park is one of the more than 50 courts Sprite and the NRPA are refreshing across the country this year. The grants will be used to refurbish rims, backboards, lights, benches and playing surfaces – sparking new life to these play spaces. Sprite Spark Parks Project voting is now closed, but people can still help support other public parks and recreational facilities by donating through NRPA’s public engagement initiative at americasbackyard.org.
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