The Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association (ECWA) is a Durham based non-profit working to protect and restore waterways and landscapes within the Ellerbe Creek watershed and to connect communities to watershed issues through education and advocacy focused events and projects. 

ECWA works to acquire and manage preserved lands to enhance the conservation of Ellerbe Creek and surrounding watersheds, and to offer residents opportunities to become active in exploring, understanding, and protecting their urban waters. ECWA has partnered with The Conservation Fund to develop a Parks with Purpose project that will enhance the ecological health of the highly urbanized Goose Creek stream and bring triple bottom-line benefits to the surrounding Durham communities. 

A Comprehensive Approach to Conservation

By expanding its organizational scope to include the East Durham watershed of the Goose Greek stream, ECWA is developing a more holistic approach to conserving the water resources and habitats of Durham. By integrating new communities into a call to action about the ecological conservation of the broader Durham watershed, ECWA and the Fund are facilitating opportunities for new partnerships to develop around the Parks with Purpose project. 

Goose Creek is a major tributary of Ellerbe Creek and the stream provides water to the Falls Lake reservoir, a major source of drinking water for the city of Raleigh, thus protecting this stream has direct impacts on public and environmental health. Protection and acquisition of habitat surrounding Goose Creek is also sited as critical in the Ellerbe Creek Watershed Management Improvement Plan. Together with guidance from an Advisory Group of East Durham community leaders and residents within the Goose Creek watershed, ECWA and the Fund are collaboratively working to provide community development and capacity building opportunities to support this urban conservation project.  


Why This Project Matters

Parks with Purpose focuses on conserving and enhancing urban parks and greenspaces with a keen understanding that urban conservation is crucial to the health of the environment and natural resources that communities rely on. The Gosse Creek Parks with Purpose project offers an opportunity for urban communities and residents in East Durham that have been historically underrepresented and underserved to play a central role in natural resource planning and decision-making. ECWA’s broadened focus of the Goose Creek Watershed created the opportunity to integrate a new segment of the Durham population and highlight urban conservation that is crucial to a integrative plan to protect the watershed health of Durham and the surrounding region.

By highlighting community values in the decision-making process of what will ultimately become the East Durham Parks with Purpose project, this work will galvanize community development, stewardship, and maintenance of this park project by building a sense of ownership and place-making among East Durham residents.  

Browse through our parks with purpose Projects:

Parks with Purpose in Atlanta

Parks with Purpose in Atlanta

We are creating safe places to play, job training and easy access to greenspace in Atlanta’s historically underserved communities.
Parks with Purpose in Kansas City

Parks with Purpose in Kansas City

A new green space in the Marlborough community aims to provide flood resilence, public health benefits and workforce training opportunities. 
Urban Food Forest at Browns Mill

Urban Food Forest at Browns Mill

Atlanta’s Food Forest is the first of its kind, providing fresh produce in a community that has limited access...
Mattie Freeland Park 

Mattie Freeland Park 

A community garden and neighborhood gathering place established to honor a matriarch of Atlanta’s English Avenue community.
Parks with Purpose in Raleigh

Parks with Purpose in Raleigh

A new green space in Raleigh's the Walnut Creek community will provide social, economic and environmental benefits for residents. 
Parks with Purpose in Baltimore

Parks with Purpose in Baltimore

Revitalizing a century’s old park to realize triple bottom-line community benefits of a healthy environment, economy and society.
Parks with Purpose in Durham

Parks with Purpose in Durham

Enhancing the ecological health of Goose Creek stream while bringing triple bottom-line benefits to the surrounding Durham communities.
Harbour-8 Park

Harbour-8 Park

How one of the San Francisco Bay Area’s toughest neighborhoods is creating new recreational, health and economic opportunities

 

Our partners

NC State University 
Durham Partners Against Crime (PAC 1) 
East Durham Children’s Initiative 
Albright Neighborhood Association 
Urban Community AgriNomics 
Communities in Partnership