May the Fourth be with you for a special parks shoutout in honor of Star Wars Day. Some of our TRACK Trail locations feature some pretty out of this world scenery. Whether along the TRACK Trail, or in another section of the park, these sites host unique features to thrill a young science fiction fan looking for an otherworldly adventure.
Kids in Parks founding partner, the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation (Blue Cross NC) was named the 2018 Outstanding Foundation by the Association of Fundraising Professionals Western North Carolina Chapter in front of a sold-out crowd at National Philanthropy Day. The annual award ceremony honors philanthropists, fundraising professionals, and volunteers making significant contributions to Western North Carolina’s philanthropic community.
On October 17, 2018, the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation accepted the Youth Engagement Award for its Kids in Parks program at the annual SHIFT Festival in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Kids in Parks was recognized for engaging more than 450,000 children with the outdoors through a nationwide network of TRACK Trails and its Parks Prescriptions program, TRACK Rx.
At Kids in Parks, we love connecting kids and families to nature and helping our parks thrive. That’s why we were honored to recently learn that our program has been named an Official Selection for a Youth Engagement Award by the group SHIFT (Shaping How we Invest For Tomorrow).
As part of its Hike NC intiative, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is donation $100,000 to five nonprofits and Kids in Parks was selected as one! The more votes we get, the higher the percentage of the donation we will receive.
As Americans, it’s easy for us to recognize the issues surrounding children and their lack of connection to and interaction with nature here in the United States; but the problem of children disconnecting from nature is truly a global challenge.
In March, Kids in Parks Director Jason Urroz attended the Salzburg Global Seminar’s session titled, “The Child in the City: Health, Parks, and Play,” to work with 50 leaders representing 23 countries to address the multiple facets of this important issue.
On April 23, the Kids in Parks program joined the National Park Service, National ParkRx initiative, and several other park prescription programs from across the country in celebrating the second annual National Park Rx Day. The annual ceremony takes place on the last day of National Park Week, and doctors nationwide prescribe the events to their patients to get them active outdoors and connect them with the health benefits associated with spending time in parks.