Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Durham Central Park's Mt. Merrill Dedication Celebration, Dec. 6

Construction site of Durham Central Park's Mt. Merrill.
Mt. Merrill in October.
Photos by DCGC President Marcia Loudon.
The Durham Council of Garden Clubs is one of several Durham organizations who proudly sponsored in 2014 the new construction of Durham Central Park's Mt. Merrill playscape. This Saturday, Dec. 6, the public is invited to a Dedication Celebration from 10 a.m. to noon. 

Mt. Merrill, named in memory of Merrill Davis, is phase II of Wanderland, the childrens’ play area at Durham Central Park, which began with the construction of The Leaf. With two slides, boulder outcroppings, and protective surfacing, Mt. Merrill will continue to make Durham Central Park the “coolest park in town” and a remarkable success story. Other scheduled activities include a children’s African drum circle, led by Braima Moiwai, interactive storytime, a make-and-take craft activity, and balloon twisting by Lena Balleena.

What is Mount Merrill?

Mount Merrill is an interactive children’s play area planned for the eastern side of the park, adjacent to the Leaf. It is a handicap accessible climbing mound that will offer the following features:
  1. 2 Slides—the Little Slide and the Big Slide
  2. Climbing Net
  3. Big Curving Benches
  4. Amphitheater Seating
  5. The Ramp Up
  6. A “Look-out!” Area
  7. Boulder Climb
  8. Sculptural Art
Fundraising Goal

The goal for the Mount Merrill fundraising campaign is $200,000. This figure includes the cost of construction as well as a maintenance fund to keep it in good shape. Durham Central Park already raised $150,000, including a successful May Kickstarter campaign. 

The late Merrill Davis with his wife.
In addition to major donors such as, Durham Lions Club, East West Partners, The Exchange Club of Greater Durham, PNC, and BIN Foundation, more than 550 individuals and businesses donated to Durham Central Park, Inc., to build Mt. Merrill. This has truly been a community effort to serve the children of Durham.

Why the Name?

The name honors the memory of a dear friend of the Park who died in a tragic car accident.  Merrill Davis was the always-helpful guy from our neighborhood nursery and garden store, Stone Brothers and Byrd.  Merrill was there seeding the first lawn at the Pavilion back when there were hardly any folks walking on it. His wedding in 2009 was one of the first weddings in the Pavilion.

Merrill was a tireless fundraiser for the Durham Exchange Club, whose focus is to benefit children in the Durham area. “Mt. Merrill” is the perfect name for an attraction that will draw children and families from throughout the community.


Mt. Merrill was designed by Tributary Land Design. 


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