For almost one hundred years, Durham Parks and Recreation (DPR) has built a legacy full of laughter, vitality, and community, offering the Durham community abundant avenues to "Play More". Our profound connection to wellness, the great outdoors, and lifelong learning has woven a beautiful fabric of happiness that has stretched across many generations. As we stand on the cusp of a historic milestone, the celebration of DPR’s 100th anniversary will be celebrated throughout the entirety of the 2024 calendar year.
Public recreation was started in Durham in April of 1924 by a City Council Resolution which stated, "It has been recognized by the Council that playgrounds are essential to proper growth and citizenship." In accordance with this observation the Council, in July 1924, appropriated money for summer playgrounds. A year later, on July 1, 1925, the Council further demonstrated its commitment by providing funds to develop a Recreation Department, complete with a full-time director. The first Recreation Department had an annual operating budget of $5,400 and a total of 10 staff members other than the director, today Durham Parks & Recreation is currently home to more than 120 full-time staff and over 180 part-time staff, and our operating budget in 2022 was 16.2 million.
DPR 100 will be an immersive celebration of our past, present, and the exhilarating future that awaits. Through an array of events, activities, community engagement, park projects, and planning, DPR 100 will tell Durham Parks and Recreation's origin story, demonstrate our growth and evolution, and set the stage for the future to connect the Durham Community to the happiness we provide and opportunities to Play More!