Every year, we dive into the statistics of the of the Kids in Parks program. The numbers tell a powerful story.
The health of our children:
- 11% of registrants were first-time hikers. This is no small number. More than 1 in 10 of our hikers had never had the experience of hiking a trail. KIP is designed to make outdoor adventures as accessible as possible to kids who have little to no experience in the outdoors. This number represents kids who may never have made that bold first step if not for the TRACK Trails program. The potential long term health and public lands impact 11% percent could have cannot be overstated.
- 410,000 miles hiked by children on TRACK Trails. Our Trail TRACKers go far... really far. Kids have hiked far enough on TRACK Trails to circle the Earth over 16 times.
- Approximately 200,000 hours of unplugged outdoor time. We are living in an increasingly connected world. In some ways this is good, but there are negative consequences that come with it. Decreased family interaction, sedentary activity, problems with focus, and much more. These hours of unplugged time improves family bonds, engages young minds with the world, and receives all the benefits associated with outdoor activity.
- At least 60 million calories burned by children on TRACK Trails. That's nearly enough to power a car from KIP headquarters in Asheville, NC to our TRACK Trails in San Diego! Those calories are spent building muscle, healthy cardiovascular systems, and improving gross motor skills. With many health issues plaguing kids today due to diet and sedentary lifestyle, this goes a long way toward achieving healthy outcomes.
The health of our parks:
- 54% of registrants were visiting the park for the first time. Often, making that first trip to a park is hardest. Visitors don't know what to expect, what to do, what trails to go on. Having a TRACK Trail eases that worry. Families know there is something reliably fun and engaging for their kids. It makes that first step a little easier.
- 52% intentionally visited the park to hike the TRACK Trail. The KIP network encourages kids to visit new parks and explore the opportunities around them. More than half visited any given TRACK Trail location specifically because the site had a TRACK Trail.
- 47% of registrants returned for a second adventure. For many of the kids who hike TRACK Trails, it is more than just a one time experience. KIP is designed to make outdoor activity a regular part of kids' lives. Often, a trip to a park can be something that happens on a vacation but doesn't develop into a lifelong journey. Kids in Parks provides a network of opportunities across the country so that the first hike is only the beginning.
- 88% of returning users visited more than one TRACK Trail location. This number is strong evidence that the TRACK Trail network is incredibly effective in encouraging kids to explore new public lands. With a network that includes local parks, state parks, national parks, forest service sites, Army Corps of Engineers sites, preserves, and more, Kids in Parks connects our public lands like no other program. Kids get a seamless experience as they explore TRACK Trails at many public lands agencies. And an 88% rate shows they are taking full advantage of it.