by Clellie Allen
WAKE FOREST — The town of Wake Forest will officially introduce the new Kids in Parks TRACK Trails initiative during a special ribbon cutting ceremony and guided walk at E. Carroll Joyner Park Saturday at 1 p.m.
The event will include brief remarks by Mayor Vivian Jones and will be attended by N.C. Recreation and Park Association (NCRPA) Director Michelle Wells and representatives of the Kids in Parks program.
Earlier this year the Wake Forest Parks and Recreation Department was awarded the Kids in Parks TRACK Trails Grant for Joyner Park.
Located at 701 Harris Road, the park is one of only 10 in central North Carolina chosen to receive the grant.
An initiative of the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation, the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation, the Kids in Parks program works with partners throughout the country to promote children’s health and the health of parks by increasing physical activity and engaging families in outdoor adventures that foster a meaningful connection to the natural and cultural world.
Kids in Parks began through a need to combat two common ailments facing today’s young people: childhood obesity and nature deficit disorder.
Now, through a generous grant by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation, the TRACK Trails program is partnering with the NCRPA to spread a network of trails across North Carolina, one region at a time.
Kids in Parks provides a network of self-guided, kid- and family-friendly hiking trails, called TRACK Trails, that 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 provides a series of brochure-led adventures designed to turn an ordinary hike into a fun-filled adventure. And each trail location is linked through the Kids in Parks website at www.kidsinparks.com.
Kids who participate in the program and register their hikes on the website earn incentives designed to keep them motivated to explore nature.
As part of the grant, this model of self-guided brochure-led adventures will be used to enhance each visit to Joyner Park.
The Nov. 23 ribbon cutting ceremony and guided walk are free and open to the public. Parking is available in the Joyner Park parking lot.
For more information, contact Urban Forester Evan Keto at 919-435-9565 or [email protected]