West Point on the Eno grows by 8 acres

On Monday, October 11th the Eno River Association donated 7.8 acres of undeveloped woodlands to the City of Durham for immediate inclusion in Durham’s West Point on the Eno City Park. This acreage, known as the Tanglewood Tract, is bordered on the north and northeast by West Point Park, and to the south by the Tanglewood subdivision. Located off of Landis Drive near Guess Road, it features high bluffs overlooking the Eno River, a mixed hardwood pine forest, and two intermittent streams flowing into the Eno.

“We are thrilled to help expand Durham’s parks” says Eno River Association Executive Director Jessica Sheffield. “This additional acreage protects Durham parkland and the Eno River from the negative impacts of potential, encroaching development.”

“We’re grateful for the opportunity to expand the park footprint, protect our tree canopy while also fulfilling our conservation goals” says Wade Walcutt, Director, Parks and Recreation, City of Durham.

West Point Park, situated between Guess and Roxboro Roads, now encompasses over 411 acres and features over two miles of river frontage, more than 4 miles of trails, an environmental education pavilion, and several historic buildings including a working grist mill. The Park is included in the National Register of Historic Places and is host to the Eno River Association’s annual Festival for the Eno.

The Eno River Association spearheaded the effort to create West Point Park in the 1970s and was instrumental in the preservation and restoration of the historic buildings including the Hugh Mangum Museum of Photography, the McCown Mangum House, the Blacksmiths’ Shop, and the West Point Mill.  The Association continues to support West Point and numerous other parks along the Eno with education programs, fundraising, land acquisition, and stewardship.

Donations to the Eno River Association help support the expansion of parks and natural areas along the Eno. Make a gift.

Eno Expands Educational Programming

Association announces a 3-year commitment from Burroughs Wellcome Fund

The Eno River Association has received an award of $180,000 from Burroughs Wellcome Fund Student Stem Enrichment Program (SSEP) to support the continued expansion of our environmental education programs for students in the Triangle over the next three years. For more than 25 years, Burroughs Wellcome Fund has supported informal STEM programs in North Carolina through the SSEP, and they were a leading investor in the creation of the Association’s graduated STEM summer camp experiences.

Funding from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund Student STEM Enrichment Program will increase the Association’s ability to continue delivering high-quality, experiential environmental education programs to K-12 students in our area. Over the three-year grant period, the Association will continue to offer two summer programs, iWalk the Eno Science and Nature Camp and Eno River Field Station, and expand its year-round programming, with a focus on public school programming to continue the development of students’ interest in STEM education.

Funding from the SSEP not only allows the Association to offer high-quality STEM education to the youth within our community, but it allows us to reach a wider audience of students. Many of the schools in the Eno River basin have large concentrations of low-income students and populations who are typically underrepresented in STEM education and careers. The SSEP allows the Association the opportunity to make these high-level camps and education opportunities affordable or free to everyone in the community through camp scholarships and discounted program rates.

This three year commitment comes on the heels of two other awards the Eno River Association received to support expansion of STEM education programs. Last month, the Association was a recipient of a $25,000 grant through the Merck Neighbor of Choice program. This summer, Durham residents voted to award over $47,000 to expand the Association’s in-school programs and field trips through the City of Durham’s Participatory Budgeting process.

“We are thrilled that we can continue to support the STEM leadership journeys of our youth through our popular summer education programs and expanding our out-of-school programming,” noted Jessica Sheffield, Executive Director. “We are so grateful to these funders for their commitment to building the next generation of environmental stewards.”

To read Burroughs Wellcome Fund’s full press release visit their website.

Gateway Building Company improves access to Eno River parks!

Durham-based Gateway Building Company held a team service project at the Eno River Association headquarters in early September. 

The construction company donated skilled labor, equipment, and materials to make much-needed improvements to this popular parking area along the banks of the Eno. Strategically located between West Point on the Eno Durham City Park and the eastern end of Eno River State Park, this trail access has seen an dramatic increase in traffic since the start of the global pandemic.

Thanks to Gateway, the site has improved drainage and parking, with additional parking spaces, new gravel & grading, and signage to help visitors navigate where to park. In addition, the company removed overgrown non-native shrubs, and relocated a shed that houses tools and materials to steward nearly 7,500 acres of Association-protected lands.

“Gateway’s generosity will increase access to Eno River parks for our community, will help protect the river from runoff, and will contribute to the biodiversity of our office site, which is an important wildlife corridor along the Eno” remarked Jessica Sheffield, Executive Director of the Eno River Association. “We are so grateful to Gateway’s commitment to the community and our environment!” 

See more about Gateway’s commitment to their neighbors on their website.

The project paves the way for the Association’s planned improvements to the native landscaping, riparian buffer, and rain gardens. The project engaged several other Eno supporters and partners: drainage and grading by RJR Grading, preliminary consultation by CT Wilson, additional funding from Durham Open Spaces and Trails Commission, and funds for the planned renovation of the Stewardship Shed by BioMerieux.

Individuals or groups looking to contribute to or participate in service projects and team-building experiences along the Eno River should contact our Stewardship Team at stewardship@enoriver.org

Eno River State Park Construction Update

Construction of a new visitor center at Eno River State Park will limit parking at Fews Ford access through late summer 2022. Visitors should expect parking to reach capacity early in the day on weekends and good weather days. Park staff say visitors should prepare to have a wait for a parking space at Fews Ford while construction continues. Read the State Park press release.

The Good News is that there are still over 50 miles of trails along the Eno River to explore in the event the Fews Ford lot is full. Now’s a great time to try a new-to-you trail or access area. Here are a few ways to get started:

Explore the links on the Visit Us page on our website.

Check out our Hiking guide.

Challenge yourself by completing all the trails from our 2020 BING-ENO board!

Happy Hiking!

You met the challenge, once again!

We are blown away by the generosity of all of our friends! You came together to donate over $22,600 to our EnoFest Matching Challenge which was matched through the generosity of several Wildflower Society members and friends. That’s over $42,600 raised to protect more natural, historical, and cultural resources of the Eno River basin.

We can’t wait to share all that your gifts are making possible in the coming months. This year’s Festival fundraising couldn’t have come at a better time, as we look to add 110+ acres to Eno River State Park. Thank you to everyone who joined in this challenge.

From the bottom of our hearts – thank you!

If you haven’t given yet to our challenge, click here to make your gift.

P.S. Many of you asked where this parcel is located! While the transaction is still in process, the land’s exact location remains confidential, but it is adjacent to the northernmost section of the park near St. Mary’s Road. The area was clear cut several years ago, and so we’re eager to help bring it back to its full forest glory with this protection!


Durham City Residents Can Vote for the Eno

Out of more than 60 applicants, the Eno River Association’s hands-on, feet-wet environmental education programming was selected to be a part of the Durham Participatory Budgeting Cycle 2 (PB Durham).

The Association will use the potential $47,000 to expand upon its successful summer programming with new initiatives to engage Durham students throughout the school year. The Association’s plan includes partnering directly with Durham Public Schools to offer field trips to parks along the Eno River, education programs provided within the school when a field trip is not a viable option, and virtual learning opportunities. These programs will consist of curated activities in alignment with NC Standard Course of Study curriculum and will target 4th, 5th, and 8th grade classes. These programs will be provided at no cost to the schools, and transportation may be available to serve all schools, especially the Title One Public elementary and middle schools in the Eno River watershed.

“We have a grand vision of providing every DPS student with a personally meaningful experience with this important waterway during their time in the school system.” shares Jessica Sheffield, Eno River Association Executive Director. “The Eno River flows through all of our lives, provides drinking water, recreation and respite, and important wildlife corridors to our communities. It’s imperative that our youth – especially those simultaneous most impacted by poor environmental practices and least represented in environmental and natural resource conservation – are given the chance to engage with it and learn from it.”

Durham City residents can visit pbdurham.org to see a complete list of projects and to cast their vote by June 6. The Eno River Association is listed under the Children, Youth, and Families category. Read the full press release.