The Forest community offers literally hundreds of options for learning, doing, sharing, and teaching—from woodworking and fitness, to guest lectures and movie nights, and everything in between.
Active people need engaging things to do. The Forest at Duke has endless options that deliver meaningful and memorable experiences and was designed and built to encourage interpersonal interaction. Our spaces are open and filled with stimulating art and activity. It seems there is always something to do!
Our campus boasts a long list of amenities for your pleasure and convenience:
- The art studio houses a pottery kiln and all manner of art supplies and materials. Offering plenty of elbow room, storage, and table space to boot, new and seasoned artists are certain to enjoy creating within the studio’s walls.
- With a seating capacity of just over 170, the auditorium is our most popular venue for lectures, concerts, readings, dances, singalongs, and a number of other exciting events.
- A full service and comfortable place to meet neighbors and savor a meal or sip a cold beverage, our club room, the Taproot, houses a spacious bar, billiards tables, board games, cards, and a large flat screen television.
- Nestled among cottages just off of Forest at Duke Drive, the community garden is a peaceful and lovely escape, a campus favorite for many team members and residents alike! The garden is filled with beautiful blooms, vegetables, fruits, and herbs, all thriving in the North Carolina sunshine. The plants, grown and nurtured in 4’ x 8’ raised beds, are lovingly tended by Forest residents. On any given day, you’ll find friendly pollinators hard at work among the flowers!
- Our fitness center features state-of-the-art Keiser strength training equipment, operating on compressed air so that resistance can be adjusted a single pound at a time. The facility also offers 2 NuStep recumbent cross trainers, a SCIFIT Latitude Lateral Stability Trainer, two ellipticals, a rowing machine, three treadmills, an upright and recumbent bike, free weights, medicine balls, and bands. Supervised training hours, during which a certified personal trainer is present in the gym, are available. Cable-ready television and a table for stretching further add to the comfort of your workout. Nearby locker rooms provide hair dryers, lockers for day use, and a suit spinner to dry your swimwear after a dip in the pool. Showers are stocked with shampoo, conditioner, and shower gel.
- With proceeds benefiting the Benevolent Fund, the gift shop is managed by a group of resident volunteers. Its inventory includes greeting cards, jewelry, books, scarves, and a miscellany of other eye-catching merchandise.
- No matter the weather outside, the plants and blooms inside The Forest’s greenhouse are always quite cozy. Snug-as-a-bug in their 85°F home – and given a steady diet of sunshine, water, and plenty of love from dedicated residents – the blossoms and greenery inside these walls couldn’t be happier!
- Featuring tall mirrors, a ballet bar, free weights, yoga mats, chairs, yoga blocks and straps, pillows for meditation, and a sound system for music, the 1,109-square-foot group exercise studio is a comfortable space used to host a multitude of fitness classes and activities. In addition to daily table tennis matches, the studio makes space for everything from folk dance and Zumba to cardio classes and meditation.
- Two hair salons – one each in the Community Center and the Health & Wellness Center – provide numerous salon services to keep you looking your very best.
- Relaxing jets in the hot tub are sure to soothe away the aches of the day. Ranging from 4 to 4½ feet deep, our 17-meter indoor saline swimming pool, maintained at a comfortable 86°F, is a great place to swim laps or simply enjoy a refreshing dip. The pool is open 24 hours a day and houses a sound system so that music can be played during water fitness classes.
- Our sustainable, productive, and efficient hydroponic tower gardens are completely soil-free and each allow us to grow 30 plants with their roots suspended in water. Best of all, hydroponic gardens require very little supervision—only occasional check-ins and weekly pH testing by Forest residents or team members. We have three such towers on campus, each taking up residence in the Health & Wellness Center, Heartwood Café, and the greenhouse. While they are sometimes used to grow colorful flowers, they more often nurture vegetables, fruits, and/or herbs and spices, which are ultimately used in the kitchen as ingredients in recipes to feed hungry Foresters.
- Containing about 3,500 books, many in large print, the light and airy library is located on the first floor of the Community Center, next to the main entrance. This recently renovated amenity, open 24 hours a day, also features collections of books penned by resident authors, as well as DVDs, CDs, and jigsaw puzzles. The Forest is proud to feature a computerized catalog that can be accessed from resident homes.
- The living room, located in the Community Center, is a cozy place to sit and chat with friends. Arranged with comfortable sofas and chairs and ample throw pillows, it’s the perfect, homey setting for a small gathering of friends or a quiet read by the fireplace.
- Our 600 sq. ft. native plants pollinator garden, added to The Forest in October 2021, grows happily in the open area at the intersection of Willow Oak and Forest at Duke Drive on campus. With 300+ plants of 20+ varieties, an array of blooms will provide nectar and pollen from spring to fall. Many of the plants will also serve as pollinator insect host plants, providing these beneficial insects a place to successfully reproduce. In the fall, as plants go to seed, many bird species will enjoy the bounty. As an added benefit, the garden will allow Forest residents to learn more about native plants—which ones thrive here, how they look throughout the year, and how they might be used in garden plots around the campus or at other sites where residents have the opportunity to garden.
- Original to the tobacco farm that existed on this land before The Forest at Duke was constructed, a pond is nestled between the cottages on Fountain View Lane and the two remaining tobacco barns from the old Pickett homestead. Sit beneath the shade of the curing barns and enjoy the soothing sound of a bubbling water feature. Stroll across the wooden bridge for a better view of a resident duck family gliding by and admire the wildflowers growing on the water’s edge.
- The Forest wood shop is located in a separate small building on the back of the property, across from the entrance to the Health & Wellness Center. Available for residents to work on individual or group projects, the wood shop is also used by Forest maintenance team members for general woodworking projects. Primary power tools available in the shop include a 10” table saw, 14” ban saw, 8” joiner, 10” radial arm saw, 16” x 42” wood lathe, 12” laser miter saw, 17” drill press, and 15” planer. The wood shop further contains many other specialized power tools, sanders, handheld power tools, dust collectors, and miscellaneous items.