In 2008, the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation and the Blue Ridge Parkway partnered with the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation to form the Kids in Parks initiative. With the initial investment of 204,000, the Kids in Parks program sprung to life and became a huge success. We have installed more than 8 TRACK Trails, brought more than 35 partners together, including multiple state, federal and local agencies, and linked our public lands to each other and to the kids and families of our communities.
Because of the overwhelming success of the pilot program to get kids and families outdoors and reconnected to nature for their health and the health of our parks the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation decided to reinvest in the Kids in Parks program with a 701,000 grant for the next three years. This grant is going to enable the Kids in Parks program to become a national model for the “no child left inside” movement, as well as expand the program across the state of North Carolina and the nation.