Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Sights and Sounds--Sandy Creek Park

We here at DPR Outdoor Recreation are serious park geeks. Between our travels for programs and our personal adventures we've seen quite a few, and one of our favorites is Sandy Creek Park in southwest Durham, just off Pickett Rd.  The wetlands in the park make wildlife viewing particularly enjoyable--check out the video below for some sounds of Spring, courtesy of the frogs and birds of Sandy Creek Park. I recommend closing your eyes while you listen.

The park is cool not just because it's a top destination for birders in the area (although that is very cool), but also because there are so many different ways to enjoy the park and so many things to see.  Coyotes, beavers, foxes, turtles and more have been spotted in the area, and there are unpaved and paved trails throughout. Soon there will also be a new viewing platform with a blind screen by one of the ponds. We'll be out at Sandy Creek Park on Saturday, April 5 from 10am--12pm if you'd like to join us for our "For the Birds" program.  You'll about the birds in the park, migratory patterns and how to spot them using our birding binoculars. A link to registration is on the right hand side of this page.  We hope to see you out there!

Finally, here's a great article about the efforts and partnerships that brought this park to fruition:

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Warm Weather Has Us Dreaming of Spring Programs

Walking outside in short sleeves on this fine day reminds us that the warm months will (hopefully) soon be upon us, and with that weather comes warm-weather programs.  Here's a peek at our March programs we hope you'll join us at--click on the registration link in the column on the right to register for programs.

Friday, March 21:  Community Campfire, 7pm--8pm at Oakwood Park in Durham.  We provide the campfire and all the makings for s'mores, all you need to do is show up.  No registration is required and there is no cost for participants.

Saturday, March 22:  Discovery Days, 11am--3pm at Bethesda Park in Durham.  An open day for folks who don't have a large group, this 1.25 hour program gives individuals an opportunity to come climb and swing on the Discovery Course.  Pre-registration is required and there are a limited number of spots available in each session. 

Saturday, March 29:  A big day for us!  First, from 12pm--3pm we'll have our Go Fish! fishing program for all ages.  NC Fish and Wildlife will have their supercool truck and gear, we'll have staff on hand to talk about the fish in Lake Michie, bait, casting techniques and some cool prizes. Registration required.

Immediately following, from 3pm--6pm, we'll have the Lake Michie season opening party with a hot dog cookout and an opportunity to try out different paddle sports such as kayaking, stand-up paddleboards (SUP's) sailing.  We'll have a drawing for Dick's Sporting Goods gift cards at both events!  No registration is required for the opening day event.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

What Outdoor Recreators do in this Gnarly Winter Weather

We get quite a few questions about what it is that we do in the winter months, given the challenge of getting people outdoors when it's cold and dark.  We do have a few scheduled programs--caving, Community Campfires, celestial events, the occasional ropes course program for brave souls willing to take on the chill.  A good deal of time is spent planning upcoming programming, honing skills, like practicing rescues, tying knots, and maintaining our equipment inventory.  Boats need to be patched, ropes course elements repaired, courses kept clear of debris so that we have smooth sailing come the craziness of Spring, Summer and Fall programs.  In the picture below, facilitator Patrick Fitzsimmons performs a practice rescue on Steve Scholle, Master Program Specialist in the Outdoor Recreation unit. 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

While we await a snowstorm--let's talk summer camp!

It seems a bit odd to be talking summer camp in the midst of this long, cold winter, but it's that time again. We had a great time last summer paddling, swinging on the Discovery Course, swimming, caving, camping, learning about our environment and, as you can see from the picture, getting more than a little muddy.  Join us for another summer of camping bliss at Eno Discovery Camp and Adventure Camp!

 Registration for DPR's summer day camp begins Saturday, March 15, 2014 at 9:00 a.m. More information can be found here: .  You may register in person on that day or online-- if you choose to register online you must go to the DPR website and register with so that you have a PIN number on the day of registration. Outdoor Recreation staff are available at 919-560-4405 should you have questions or otherwise need assistance.