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As the old saying goes... "If you can't beat them... join them!" Even though the Kids in Parks program was designed to get kids and families to "unplug" from their devices and spend more time outdoors, sometimes you've got to meet them where they're at in order to get them on-board with your ideas. So, the Kids in Parks program is on social media... and lately, we're blowing up!
by Jason Urroz, July 27th, 2016

Local Park TRACK Trails Get Kids in Parks

The program’s original goal was to get kids and families to use the hiking trails along the Blue Ridge Parkway as resources for their health. However, the program’s staff realized that kids and families who are inexperienced in outdoor recreation may not choose a national park as their first step into nature because, after all, “that’s where the bears are at!” As a result, the program created “gateway trails” in local parks, state parks and other public land locations that are closer to home. To rapidly expand the network, Kids in Parks partnered with the North Carolina Recreation and Park Association to provide grants to install TRACK Trails in local parks throughout North Carolina.
by Jason Urroz, July 25th, 2016

The Great Eight – Kids in Parks’ National Expansion Continues!

In 2008, when the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation, Blue Ridge Parkway, and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation partnered together to form the Kids in Parks program they probably didn’t expect it to develop into a national network of trails designed for kids and families. After all, Kids in Parks was originally designed to get kids and families to think about the trails along the Blue Ridge Parkway as resources for their health. So, how did the program grow from one trail on the Parkway in Asheville, North Carolina, into a national network of more than 140 trails in eight states?
by Jason Urroz, June 28th, 2016

Network Expands through Five County Collaborative Partnership in Southeastern NC

The Kids in Parks program partnered with the College of Health and Human Services at the University of North Carolina Wilmington through their five-county collaborative group called the Southeastern North Carolina Regional Health Collaborative (SENCRHC) to install five new TRACK Trails in the southeastern region of the state.
by Jason Urroz, June 16th, 2016

Kids in Parks launches a new experiment: Citizen Science TRACK Trails

They aren’t wearing white lab coats, but there are already young citizen scientists collecting data at Front Lake at Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site. On April 27, the Kids in Parks program opened its first Citizen Science TRACK Trail designed to engage kids in learning and caring for the park’s ecosystem while helping staff researchers and natural resource managers.
by Jason Urroz, April 29th, 2016

Kids in Parks hosting National Park Rx Day Event on April 24

To celebrate National Park Rx Day, the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation’s Kids in Parks program, Blue Ridge Parkway and National Park Service are hosting a family-friendly event at 3 p.m., Sunday, April 24, at the Parkway Visitor Center in Asheville. The afternoon will include a guided hike with park rangers and local pediatricians and more activities to spread awareness about the enjoyment and health benefits provided by outdoor adventures.
by Jason Urroz, April 22nd, 2016