Durham Open Space and Trails Commission (DOST)

Advocating outdoor recreation opportunities for Durham residents since 1983

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= The latest news from DOST and around the community =

1. Farmland Preservation Workshop: January 31
2. Jordan Lake boundary dispute
3. Matching Grants: Good and bad news
4. Zipcars at Duke
5. Hillsborough train station?
6. The Carbon-Free Home: in Old North Durham!
7. Eno River hike video on YouTube
8. Vacancies on the DOST Board
9. Download the DOST brochure!

A workshop about new farming techniques will be held Saturday, January 31. This meeting is sponsored by the Durham County Farmland Protection Board and will be held at the Bahama Ruritan Club from 9am until 2pm. Seminar topics will include sustainable farming practices, conservation easements, and developing a business plan. For more information, or to RSVP, call the Protection Board at (919) 560-0558. Also, visit their website [link] or view the event flyer [link].

The Durham Board of County Commissioners are involved in the middle of a Jordan Lake boundary dispute, after voting to accept a developer's survey that shifts the boundary westward -- and which accomodates the latest subdivision to be planned for the southwest corner of the county, near the intersection of NC 751 and Fayetteville Road.

Matt Saldana of the Independent has written two articles on the subject, and has been featured on WUNC's The State of Things (links listed below). At present, officials are waiting for a decision on the boundary to be made by the state's Division of Water Quality.

Durham fails to hold the line on Jordan Lake (December 3, 2008)
Chatham leaders riled up about Jordan Lake decision (December 16, 2008)
January 7, 2009 interview on TSOT

Good news and bad news regarding the Durham Open Space and Trails Matching Grants Program.

The good news is that the Central Park School for Children is installing new playground equipment. School director Caroline Weaver writes, "The Durham City Council has approved our request to donate play equipment to the City to be placed in the Old North Durham Park behind the School. The new equipment should be installed in February. Watch for it! This equipment was purchased with a matching DOST grant (Durham Open Space and Trails) and Sunshine Fund and Strawberry Festival moneys. Thanks to all those Strawberry Festival volunteers!"

The bad news: unfortunately, the MGP will not issue any grants this year. Due to the Durham County budget crisis, the entirety of the Matching Grants Program budget (fiscal year 2008-09) has been cut. Disbursements to the 2008 award winners will NOT be made. For Durham Board of County Commissioner meeting minutes, click here.

You may have seen a Zipcar while in Chapel Hill. Now, you might see one zipping around Durham. Four Zipcars - including two hybrids - have been placed on Duke University's campus and available for rent at $8 an hour or $66 per day. Both the Herald-Sun and the News & Observer published articles about the "self-service" vehicles [here and here].

Mass transit supporters, heads up! If you look westward you might make out the beginnings of a modern Hillsborough train station. The "Rail Station Task Force" has been moving along the idea of constructing a train station and platform for use as an Amtrak rail stop.

It's been 45 years since the last passenger train rumbled to a stop in "Hillsboro". The costs of constructing a new station are estimated at $5-6 million for a building and $1 million for a platform with a canopy and lighting. Learn about the Task Force on their website [link], which includes a site selection presentation made to the public on January 14.

Durhamites Stephen and Rebekah Hren have written a book, entitled The Carbon-Free Home: 36 Remodeling Projects to Help Kick the Fossil-Fuel Habit, based in part on their experiences owning a home in the Old North Durham neighborhood. The Wrens appeared on WUNC's The State of Things in early January. Click here to listen to the interview.

New to Durham? Wondering what this Eno River is that everyone keeps talking about? Before heading out with the boots, mosey over to this YouTube video created by the folks at the Great Outdoor Provision Company. It provides a pleasant, 3-minute trek over the river and through the woods. Longtime Durhamites will enjoy it, too!

DOST is looking for Durham residents to fill our vacancies! We have a new opening for someone who lives in Mangum Township, in the northern portion of the County; all other open positions are available to those who live anywhere in Durham County. If you would like to become a Commissioner, please contact the DOST Chairperson, Dan Clever.

Download the DOST brochure and learn the basics of our organization! [PDF format]

This page was last updated 26 January 2009.