Durham community takes charge of its appearance

Scotland Manor residents plan a community-driven facelift
Jul. 06, 2013 @ 01:26 PM

In the East Durham neighborhood of Scotland Manor, a quiet shift is taking place. The residents in this neighborhood of 44 single-family townhome units have decided that together they will create a more beautiful, stronger and safer community.

Scotland Manor residents hope to improve the appearance of the property to impact the neighborhood on several levels that include aesthetic beauty, safety, erosion and storm water run-off.  Residents, local businesses, Keep Durham Beautiful and City of Durham departments will join resources to nurture this flourishing community.

City of Durham Neighborhood Improvement Services (NIS) team recently worked with residents to develop a Beautification Plan to guide the process and to serve as a tool for outreach to potential supporters.

The components of the Beautification Plan include:

-- Entrance signage repainting, lighting and landscaping

-- Parking lot island curb repair and landscaping

-- Natural walkway delineation

-- Stormwater channeling and rain garden installation

-- Crime prevention through landscape measures

What makes this ambitious project unique is the strong commitment of these residents to work together to make these changes to improve their community environment and to put in long hard volunteer hours.

We at Keep Durham Beautiful see over and over again that having community members who are truly invested is the best way to ensure the long-term success of beautification projects like this.

Scotland Manor residents plan their second workday this year for Saturday, with help from Neighborhood Improvement Services Department, the Durham Police Department and Keep Durham Beautiful. They are seeking donations of mulch, plant material, construction supplies, lighting hardware and welcome volunteer labor.

Ms. Cheatham, who has spearheaded the community efforts along with Ms. Barber, said “These workdays will bring our neighbors together to build pride and make Scotland Manor a safer, better place to live.”

A January 2012 CPTED (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design) assessment by the Durham Police Department provided recommendations designed to help minimize criminal behavior and encourage people to watch out for each other.  Suggestions for Scotland Manor follow:

-- Cut bushes back lower than 3 feet and limb up lower branches of trees to 6 feet.

-- Make sure that trash is picked up in a timely manner.

-- Make sure that graffiti is removed immediately.

-- Make sure signage gives clear directions so that the user understands the purpose.

-- Repair and clean porch and street lights in a timely manner.

-- Hold events to celebrate community involvement.

The upcoming community workday will help the residents begin to address many of these projects. The sense of shared purpose and community building that happens during these workdays is just as important as the beautification itself. This shared responsibility is the root of the Keep Durham Beautiful mission.

Tania Dautlick is executive director of Keep Durham Beautiful. KDB, a non-profit affiliate of Keep America Beautiful, engages and inspires individuals to take greater responsibility for their community environment. Focus areas include litter prevention, recycling and waste reduction, and beautification. To learn more, visit www.keepdurhambeautiful.org or call 919-354-2729. Be sure to like us at www.facebook.com/KeepDurhamBeautiful or follow us at www.twitter.com/DurhamBeautiful.