Durham Joins National Water Conservation Challenge

Residents Encouraged to Take the Pledge During April

DURHAM, N.C. — During the month of April, you can save water, save money, earn prizes and help Durham win the National Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation.

Mayor William V. “Bill” Bell and the City’s Water Management Department are encouraging residents to visit http://www.MyWaterPledge.com to sign up for the Wyland Foundation’s Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation.

The challenge, in its fourth year, is a competition between cities across the United States to see who can be the most water-wise. Mayors and civic leaders are challenging their residents to conserve water, energy and other natural resources on behalf of their city. Last year, Durham finished in fifth place, and Mayor Bell hopes to beat that ranking this year. “As Durham continues to grow, our water resources will be stretched to meet increases in demand,” Bell said. “By participating in the National Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation, residents can pledge to make Durham a more sustainable community both now and in the future.”

Cities with the highest percentage of participants are entered for a chance to win hundreds of environmentally friendly prizes, including a Toyota Prius Plug-In, water-saving fixtures and gift certificates. Residents can also visit http://www.DurhamSavesWater.org for more information and ideas for saving water.

Connect with the Creek Festival – Saturday March 21 2-5pm

Creek Week kickoff event featuring loads of info on local water resources and groups, parade with Bulltown Strutters and Northeast Creek Streamwatch costumes and puppets, creek art from local schools, painted rain cisterns for auction, a scavenger hunt, Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association painted creek, Frog Hollow Outdoors class raffle, and Pie Pushers and Dusty Donuts food trucks! Durham Central Park at 501 Foster Street in Durham, NC.

To see all Creek Week Events, visit www.durhamcreekweek.org.

To join the event on Facebook, visit https://www.facebook.com/events/1628065500756568/?ref=6&ref_notif_type=plan_user_invited

Durham’s 2015 Arbor Day at Old West Durham- Sunday March 15, 2015

Celebrating 32 years of recognition as a Tree City USA!

What:              City of Durham 2015 Arbor Day Celebration with Community Tree Planting

Who:               City of Durham General Services Department Urban Forestry Division, Keep Durham Beautiful, Inc., and Trees Across Durham

When:             Sunday, March 15, 2015 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Where:           Old West Durham Neighborhood Streets and West Main Street – Meet at Greystone Baptist Church Parking Lot, 2601 Hillsborough Road, Durham

Fast Facts:

  • Old West Durham has historically benefitted from a robust tree canopy, but many trees are nearing the end of their lives and the canopy is declining. City staff and neighbors have identified numerous locations suitable for tree planting. Involving the community in planting and caring for the trees is an important component to restore and protect the trees in this urban landscape.
  • This annual celebration of Durham’s trees is free and open to the public. Activities are suitable for all ages and tools are provided for participants. Activities for volunteers include:
  • Community tree planting of 100 trees along the neighborhood streets of Old West Durham. Trees are provided by the City’s General Services Department Urban Forestry Division, Old West Durham Neighborhood Association, and Keep Durham Beautiful.
  • Tree seedling giveaway and educational table displays, where attendees can choose from 11 varieties of seedlings and receive guidance on tree selection and planting from Durham County Master Gardener volunteers. Tree seedlings, along with information about the benefits of trees and tree care, are provided courtesy of the Durham City-County Sustainability Office and Keep Durham Beautiful.
  • For additional information, or to volunteer for this community tree planting event, email info@keepdurhambeautiful.org or call (919) 354-2729 or 919-672-6682.

Durham E-Waste Recycling & Shredding Event January 17

Free & Convenient Event Open to All Durham Residents & Businesses

Durham residents and businesses waiting for the next free opportunity to recycle electronic waste, shred confidential documents, and safely dispose of their Christmas trees should plan to attend the E-Waste Recycling and Paper Shredding Event next month.

The event will be held Saturday, January 17, 2015, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the visitor side of the Durham County Memorial Stadium, 750 Stadium Dr., Durham. Event staff will be on hand to unload old electronics and paper.

The event, co-sponsored by the City of Durham’s Solid Waste Management Department, Sonoco Recycling, Shred Ace, Synergy Recycling and Durham County Government, will accept nearly all electronic devices with a cord, including: •  Computers, laptops, keyboards, mice, printers, monitors, speakers, copiers, scanners, circuit boards, hard drives, computer parts, etc. •  Televisions, stereo equipment, tape players, receivers, amplifiers, record players, etc. •  Kitchen electronics, such as microwaves, mixers, blenders, choppers, etc. •  Telephones, cell phones, and fax machines •  Hair dryers, curling irons, alarm clocks and vacuum cleaner •  Power tools, cordless tools, etc. •  Electronic toys, such as keyboards and video game systems •  This event will not accept large appliances, refrigerators, air conditioners, or any other appliances that contain Freon

Confidential paper shredding will also be provided on site. Requirements for shredding include: •  Paper may contain paper clips and staples; however, hanging file folders will not be accepted. •  Only paper should be brought for shredding; CDs, DVDs, and other non-paper items will not be accepted.  •  All paper should be loose and not in binders or other binding items made of non-paper. •  Residents may be present to observe their confidential document shredding if the amount to be shredded can fit into one 96-gallon roll cart (approximately 240 pounds or approximately eight small, banker boxes of material). •  Participants with larger quantities will have items placed in boxes to be shredded off-site at a secure facility.

Christmas trees will also be accepted at this event. Trees taller than six feet should be cut in half and not placed in bags. Residents should also remove all decorations and hardware, including tinsel, lights, garland, ornaments, nails, and stands.

Durham residents who can’t make this event can still safely and conveniently recycle their old electronics at the City’s Waste Disposal and Recycling Center (Transfer Station), 2115 E. Club Blvd. The facility is open Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays from 7:30 a.m. to noon.

For information about items accepted at this event or the City’s recycling facilities, contact Durham One Call at (919) 560-1200 or visit http://DurhamNC.gov/ich/op/swmd/Pages/wr_transfer.aspx.

Want to help the water? Trees, yes. Leaves, no.

Fall is an ideal time to plant trees. Roots that have three seasons to establish before the hot, dry summer give seedlings a promising start.

Trees filter water runoff before it enters the stormwater drainage system. This prevents dirt, nutrients, and bacteria from washing into streams and lakes. Trees also reduce the amount of runoff rushing to creeks in a rain storm.

Trees add value to your property and provide shade, beauty, cleaner air, and wildlife habitat. They can protect your yard from erosion when planted along creek banks. Together with native bushes and grasses, trees act as buffers between pollution sources and waterways.

If trees are so good, why are leaves bad for the water? As leaves decay, nutrients that feed algae enter the water. This reduces oxygen in streams and lakes and can lead to fish kills and bad tasting drinking water.

Streams will always have natural sources of falling leaves. But when too many people sweep or blow yard leaves onto streets, the extra leaves in the drainage system cause a problem.

Doing your part:

  • www.TreesAcrossDurham.org lists trainings and projects to help keep Durham shady.
  • Keep it neat; no leaves on the street. Compost them or use your yard waste bin.
  • Report illegal leaf dumping: (919) 560-SWIM.
  • Plant trees, bushes, and grasses near stream banks.

Durham Seeks People’s Choice Votes for 2014 Golden Leaf Awards

Residents who think there are certain Durham properties that have outstanding curb appeal are now invited to vote for the properties they like the best.

The Durham City-County Appearance Commission and Keep Durham Beautiful, Inc. are seeking voters for the People’s Choice award for the 2014 Golden Leaf Awards. Properties up for the award include new developments and buildings in Durham that provide positive attributes to the built environment. Homeowners, building owners, architects, landscape architects, developers, realtors and anyone involved in design, planning and construction in Durham have entered projects completed within the last five years for this year’s competition.

Residents are encouraged to visit http://www.durhamgoldenleaf.com to review all of the nominated properties and cast their vote for their favorite project. The voting period for the People’s Choice award is open until Tuesday, November 18.

For more information, email info@durhamgoldenleaf.com or contact Planner Wade Griffin with the Durham City-County Planning Department by email at Wade.Griffin@DurhamNC.gov or by phone at (919) 560-4137, ext. 28229.

Creek Smart Workshop @ Organic Transit

NC Cooperative Extension is co-sponsoring with Ellerbe Creek Association to offer a FREE half-day hands-on rain garden and rain water harvester installation demonstration event:

Creek Smart Workshop @ Organic Transit with optional Elf and walking tours of Creek SmartTM practices. See attached flyer. (tours run Noon-2 pm) for registered participants

When: Saturday, November 8, 2014 – 9am-12noon

Location: 311 W Corporation St., Durham, NC 27701

This hands-on workshop will teach you how to install your own rain garden and rainwater harvesting system that improve your property and protect water quality.

  •  Organic Transit will be offering free test rides to participants!
  •  Ellerbe Creek Assoc. will be offering walking tours of the ‘Creek Smart’ program sites just around the corner from Organic Transit.
  •  Full Steam Brewery is a short walk away for thirsty adults after installing the rain garden and water harvester!

RSVP at http://ellerbecreek.org/support/event-signup.html or contact chris@ellerbecreek.org.


Recyclers needed for Nov 2 Food Truck Rodeo at Durham Central Park!

Please help Keep Durham Beautiful by signing up for a shift to help us staff recycling stations at the Food Truck Rodeo at Durham Central Park on Sunday November 2 from noon-4 pm. We’ll have 5 recycling/composting/trash stations and we need a volunteer at each station to help people learn where to put their waste. This is going to be an epic educational opportunity! Durham Central Park expects upwards of 5000 people if the weather is good.

Shifts are 11:30 – 2pm (includes setup) or 2-4:30 pm (includes take down) – seeking 8 people per shift to allow breaks. And please spread the word by sharing this invitation to anyone who may want to volunteer! Responsible youth who need service hours are welcome to help!

We’re using VolunteerSpot. Please sign up to be a Food Truck Rodeo Recycling Ambassador!
Here’s how it works in 3 easy steps:

1. Click this link to go to our invitation page on VolunteerSpot: http://vols.pt/wX62dX
2. Enter your email address: (You will NOT need to register an account on VolunteerSpot)
3. Sign up! Choose your spots – VolunteerSpot will send you an automated confirmation and reminders. Easy!
Note: VolunteerSpot does not share your email address with anyone. If you prefer not to use your email address, please contact me and I can sign you up manually.

America Recycles Day at Durham County Library November 15

Durham County Library will participate in America Recycles Day, the only nationally-recognized day dedicated to promoting and celebrating recycling in the U.S. The event will be from 10am until 12pm on Saturday, November 15, at North Regional Library, 221 Milton Rd. The event is free and open to the public.

This festival is for children and their families to explore recycling, composting, and saving energy through games, prizes, crafts, and a scavenger hunt. Participants will have the chance to meet with local organizations, such as Keep Durham Beautiful, Charge Ahead Durham, Durham County Extension Master Gardeners, and Durham County Waste Reduction Services.

For more information, call 919-560-0232 or visit durhamcountylibrary.org.

Durham County Library encourages Discovery, connects the Community and leads in Literacy. As a department of Durham County Government, the library furthers Goal 1 of the county’s Strategic Plan by enhancing cultural, educational and creative opportunities. For more information about the library, visit durhamcountylibrary.org.


Durham Seeks 2014 Golden Leaf Awards Nominations

October 26th Deadline to Submit Nominations

Residents who think there are certain Durham properties that have outstanding curb appeal are now invited to nominate those properties for the 2014 Golden Leaf Awards.

The Durham City-County Appearance Commission and Keep Durham Beautiful, Inc. are seeking nominations from the community to recognize new developments and buildings in Durham that provide positive attributes to the built environment. Homeowners, building owners, architects, landscape architects, developers, realtors and anyone involved in design, planning and construction in Durham are encouraged to enter projects completed within the last five years.

Visit http://www.durhamgoldenleaf.com to review the complete list of categories, submission criteria and nomination forms. All submissions are due by Sunday, October 26, 2014.

For more information, contact Planner Wade Griffin with the Durham City-County Planning Department by email at Wade.Griffin@DurhamNC.gov or by phone at (919) 560-4137, ext. 28229.