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  • The Recreation Department has received some inquiries regarding an article on the 2019 Ballot. The article was submitted by petition by the public and not Recreation however it pertains to an on-going project initiated by the Recreation Department.

    You can find more information on the Playground Proposal by contacting the head of the Volunteer Group ( as well as get information on the Warrant Article itself in the Voter's Guide available for pick up at the New Durham Town Hall.

    However, here is some background information on the project:
    A few years ago, the Recreation Department came up with a proposal to update the play area. The original proposal was made available for public input and focused on more naturally based items (wood for example) to fit the natural landscape based on desires in the Town's Master Plan, have a play area different than the one at the school, make sure it was also inclusive of the youngest children in town who cannot access the school play area during school hours (and which wasn't targeted to them) and save on cost as it was clear that requesting more than that would most likely not be received well by the Town and people as cost-savings were heavily on all Department Head minds. The original proposal was for $15,000 coming from the Ballfields CRF. Some of that funding was already available in the CRF and additional funding was put through by the CIPC over two years through the CRF on the ballots of those years (those ballot initiatives passed both years).

    Work was going to start for the project in 2018 but a group of parents in town did not support the original plan. They felt it was not the right direction to go in and would not support their children as they hoped. They were given the opportunity to form a volunteer group to come up with a new proposal following some guidelines from the Department including some safety and layout standards necessary to the Town's Risk & Liability provider, having parts accessible by various age groups (not just school age) and knowing that there was $15,000 available in the CRF as well approximately $5,000 that may be accessed through a trust accessible by the Department.

    They were made aware that a proposal above that amount would need additional funding which Recreation simply did not have.

    The volunteer group's meetings were made public and they spent months meeting with each other, reviewing the space and getting insights from the Recreation Department to come up with their proposal.

    Their proposal came after the CIP Process was already completed and the group was told, by the Recreation Director, that they had a few options for securing additional funding: 
    - Wait until the next cycle to request additional funding through CRF (work could begin now with available funds and be completed after additional funds were secured)
    - Attend the Deliberative Session and request that additional funds be added to the Ballfields CRF already on the 2019 Ballot. Should it not be added or should it not be approved come March, then they could request through CIP the following year or fundraise.
    - Fundraise

    The warrant article which was submitted by petition was not written nor approved by the Recreation Department. For more information on its origin, interested parties can contact the head of the Volunteer Group for information on that warrant article (see email listed above).

    While the language of the article is in question because of the expendable fund line and the possibility of there not being funds available or that utilizing the funds from the expendable funds would impact what is available in possible emergency situations for the Town (possibly leading to additional tax raises because of needing to access funding through other avenues to solve those possible emergency situations), I do encourage the public to support the project in ways they feel comfortable with including possible future CIP requests and fundraising.

    We (Town Departments and Committees) are often hoping that residents will step up to be involved in matters of the town and this group did that. While the additional $8,000 is in question as to how it should come about, the efforts of the group should be commended. They've donated time to meet and work together to present a new proposal which, even if it is over the original proposal, is far less than it could have been. They've committed to volunteering to complete the project saving on staff pay. They've secured excavation at no cost which is a big savings as it is necessary to dig out existing sand and earth in order to put in the required new surface material in a safe and correct manner.

    If you have further questions Recreation can answer, let us know! 859.5666 or

Welcome to New Durham Recreation

New Durham Parks and Recreation is happy to provide our community with our new online activity registration system and website. Our goal is to provide our community with varied recreational opportunities and our hope is that having an online registration service will help better serve our community.

To get started, please Create an Account with all your household information. The data provided - emergency contacts, medical information, etc. - will help us better serve you. This info will also be automatically placed into your registration forms resulting in easier registration for future programming.

When you’re ready to start registering for activities, be sure to review the How to Register for an Activity page.

Please keep in mind that this site is new and will continue to be updated with programming and activity information. Please check back for new recreational opportunities! If you have any questions, we encourage you to contact Nichole Hunter, Recreation Director, at or 859.5666.