Part 6 in our Cary Parks series.
Cary, NC — As is the case with many of Cary’s wonderful parks, R.S. “Dad” Dunham park is named in memory of an influential and inspirational member of our community.
Dad Dunham Park
A former teacher, R.S. Dunham taught vocational agriculture at Cary High School for 40 years. It is fitting that the park was placed only a short walk from the school, located on the last mile of Walnut Street headed toward downtown Cary. The location is convenient to many in town, providing a playground, basketball courts, and large tennis facility to residents.
Upon entering the parking lot, one noticeable feature is a pair of portable toilets in the corner of the parking lot. Due to poor location and outdated facilities, the Town is in the process of renovating and relocating the restrooms at “Dad” Dunham Park.
This project is scheduled to be complete sometime in the second half of 2011. The water fountain located near the playgrounds is still in operation for those needing hydration.
Adjacent to the parking lot are two playgrounds divided by a sidewalk leading to the basketball court. Each playground is mulched and the equipment is separated by age appropriateness. One side caters to toddlers, complete with sandbox, bucket swings, spring ride-on toys and a small climbing structure.
The other, larger side has swings, a see-saw and a large play structure with slides and monkey bars. There is also an interesting merry-go-round contraption, called the Kompan Supernova, that is often covered with children. Even adults cannot resist the urge to try balancing and spinning on this unique device.
The aforementioned basketball court resides a short walk away, a comfortable distance from the playgrounds so that children are not tempted to run into the middle of a full court game. The cement surface is and shaded well with large pine trees and court-side benches allow onlookers to observe comfortably. For those interested in other sports, a large grassy area nearby provides an adequate playing field.
At the rear of the park is the tennis facility, complete with five full courts and a practice wall. These courts are heavily used, so it is best to check the schedules posted near the entrance to the courts before planning an outing. There is ample landscaping around the courts and alongside the trails that run through the area. Near the back is a small pavilion with tables and seating for spectators or those looking for a break.
An all-around wonderful park, R.S. “Dad” Dunham Park combines a central location with plenty of facilities to entertain guests. Parents and athletes alike will enjoy the work the Town of Cary has put into this park. With the current renovations that are underway, this park will only continue to get better.
Inventory / Facilities
- Large play structure
- Small play structure
- Mulched surface
- Sandbox with diggers
- 2 swings
- 2 bucket swings
- 2 bouncing ride on toys
- Spinning thing
- 2 basketball courts
- Picnic area
- Tennis courts
- Restrooms (under repair)
- Small open grass area
- Bike rack
- Parking lot
- Water fountain
- Parking: lot, bike racks
R.S. “Dad” Dunham Park
519 Walnut St
Cary, NC 27511
Story and photos by Zach Hayes. Read more in our Cary Parks series.