Kids in Parks
Move more at the park! The Kids in Parks program, an initiative of the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation, the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation, is working with partners in North Carolina and throughout the country to provide a network of family friendly trails called TRACK Trails. These trails connect various public lands in an attempt to get kids unplugged, outdoors and reconnected with nature for their health and the health of our parks. Each TRACK Trail has a series of brochure-led self-guided adventures designed to turn an ordinary hike into a fun-filled adventure. Kids earn prizes for TRACKing their TRACK Trail adventures in their online nature journal on the Kids in Parks website. North Carolina enjoys the largest number of TRACK Trails in the country, featuring 83 trail locations in more than 50 counties.
As of May 2017, more than 5,500 individual Trail TRACKers had registered more than 9,500 trail adventures. Based on on-site observational studies conducted in partnership with the North Carolina Center for Health and Wellness at UNC Asheville, the program’s registration numbers represent more than 300,000 kids that have walked TRACK Trails over the last 7.5 years. And, that’s just the kids! The program knows the average group size is 3.4 people, meaning that nearly 650,000 people have walked more than 650,000 miles on TRACK Trails.
In addition to the above numbers, the program also boasts these outcomes:
With more than 150 TRACK Trail locations in 10 states and Washington, D.C. (including a trail that goes around the White House), the Kids in Parks program has been recognized as a cost-effective intervention that gets kids and families active outdoors earning the following awards and endorsements: