Looking for a fun way to encourage your children to exercise and learn about the environment at the same time? If you answered yes, then check out the Wake Forest Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Department’s Kids in Parks TRACK Trails program at E. Carroll Joyner Park.
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 our 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. Through a grant by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation, the TRACK Trails program partnered 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. Each TRACK 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.
The E. Carroll Joyner Park TRACK Trail adventures can be used on any of the three miles of paved trails in the 117 acre park. Four TRACK adventure brochures are available: Birds in the Piedmont, Need for Trees, Bug Out (about creepy crawlies in the forest), and Hide and Seek, which guides kids to many things often overlooked in nature.
Go to http://kidsinparks.com/e-carroll-joyner-park#adventures to read about and download the brochures, and to register hikes. E. Carroll Joyner Park is at 701 Harris Road in Wake Forest.