Update on South Ellerbe Creek Wetlands Restoration

By Scott Doron

Neighbors have noticed stirrings at the South Ellerbe Restoration construction site at 808 W. Trinity Ave. If you are new to the neighborhood, you have probably only seen vacant land at 808 W. Trinity Ave. across from Duke Towers Hotel and Condominiums. The site was previously the location of the Durham YMCA and then the Duke Diet and Fitness Center.

The vacant land will be transformed into “a constructed wetland and stream restoration that will filter polluted stormwater from part of downtown and nearby neighborhoods. This restoration will benefit the community and the environment by increasing green space, improving water quality, and improving aquatic life in South Ellerbe Creek.”  The plan includes a 4.3-acre wetland, a loop trail connecting to the South Ellerbe Creek Trail and to the future Beltline trail, and a plaza along Trinity Avenue, with a lawn, wetland views, educational signage, and public art. 

Phase 1 of the project—demolition of the original building on the site—was completed in late 2018.  Phase 2—removing reusable soil to the Mist Lake Facility Expansion project site and the closed City of Durham landfill—is currently underway.  Phase 3—final construction—should start in 2023 and take 12-18 months.  So, with luck, we will start enjoying a beautiful park in 2024!

Public Art Survey

A team of artists has been selected to create the public art for the South Ellerbe Restoration Project. They are currently seeking public input via an online survey about styles, themes, and methods for the artwork.

Take the survey in English

Tomar el encuesto en espanol

Environment, Neighborhood concerns, Recreation