Dix Park is creating a cultural interpretation plan

Members of the community are invited to help create Dix Park’s cultural interpretation plan, an endeavor to acknowledge the history of the park and approach it with sensitivity, one of the first of its kind.

A person in Native American garb walks across a field.

The personal and family histories of people like Kaya Littleturtle of the Lumbee Tribe will be honored through this plan.

Photo provided by Dix Park

Dix Park is developing a cultural interpretation plan, a document to acknowledge and confront the park’s complex and layered history connected to race, mental health, and the environment.

“This project is important because it’s one of the first of its kind, especially in a public park,” Eric Regensburger, senior planner for Dix Park, told RALtoday. “That shows how important this project is to the City of Raleigh, as well as recognizing the very complex and layered history here.”

The cultural interpretation team is dedicated to keeping Dix a world class park, and with that comes acknowledging and incorporating its history within the park.

Dix Park is classified as a Site of Conscience, a historic site that works toward preventing repeated erasures of communities. The city’s largest park has historically been stewarded by Native Americans, was the site of a plantation with enslaved workers, and is home to a now-shuttered mental health facility.

Be a part of this plan by participating in community workshops this week, all at the Chapel at Dix Park, from 6 to 8 p.m. These events offer the chance to share feedback directly to the project’s consultants.

  • Buried Stories & Histories Denied | Tuesday Aug. 1 | This workshop is for those whose personal or family stories have been marginalized or erased in Dix Park’s history.
  • Creative Survival | Wednesday, Aug. 2 | Attendees for this workshop should be those who want to be part of healing efforts at the park.
  • Spaces of Belonging & Inclusion | Thursday, Aug. 3 | Join this session to talk about the natural and human history of Dix Park.

The cultural interpretation plan should be finalized by next summer. Events like this month’s Kirby Derby on Saturday, Aug. 19 and the Inter-Tribal Pow Wow on Saturday, Aug. 26 will provide space to share thoughts on this project. Additionally, you can leave feedback online.

There are plenty more historical preservation and acknowledgment projects underway at Dix Park, like the stone house restoration project.