From left, Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation Director Carolyn Ward, interim Blowing Rock Parkway Superintendent Monika Mayr, Brandon Williams, Zachary Williams, Lula Bovino, Emma Brown, Maddie Brown, Marcia Quinn of the Blowing Rock Historical Society and Jim Clabough of the Rotary Club of Blowing Rock take part in the ribbon cutting for the new ‘Kids in Parks’ TRACK Trail at Julian Price Park in Blowing Rock. Photo by Jeff Eason
Thursday, August 22, 2013
(Last modified: 2013-08-22 08:25:15)

Source: The Blowing Rocket

Children in the U.S. today spend an average of seven hours a day watching television and playing video games, and an average of seven minutes a day playing outdoors, according to Jason Urroz, project director for the Blue Ridge Parkway’s Kids in Parks program.

“The Kids in Parks program is designed to combat two problems kids face these days: nature deficit disorder and childhood obesity,” Urroz said.

Urroz was speaking at the grand opening of the new TRACK Trail at the Julian Price Park picnic area, located near milepost 296 of the Blue Ridge Parkway, just south of Blowing Rock.

The new 0.7-mile trail is designed for younger hikers and includes a stone kiosk with brochures that will provide children with different ways of looking at their trail adventures.

The titles of the four brochures present during the grand opening were “Nature’s Hide and Seek,” “Flower Power,” “Birds of the Blue Ridge Mountains” and “Scavenger Hunt.”

The Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation is responsible for keeping the kiosk stocked with new brochures.
Funding for the new trail and kiosk came from the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation, the Blowing Rock Historical Society and the Rotary Club of Blowing Rock.”

The stone kiosk was built with the same gray stone seen along the parkway on its bridges and walls. Fernando’s Stoneworks of Asheville constructed the kiosk.

“In 2016, we will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service,” said Monika Mayr, interim superintendent of the Blue Ridge Parkway. “I’m proud to be working with organizations that are dedicated to ensure that we will have the resources to provide park services to the public for the next hundred years.”

In addition, Jim Clabough of the Rotary Club of Blowing Rock said, “Rotary loves giving back to the community. Our charity auction in Blowing Rock this weekend is but one example of the events we hold to raise money for good causes such as the TRACK Trail.”

According to Urroz, the new trail at Price Park is the 60th trail opened in the Kids in Parks program.
“This national park trail effort began on the parkway,” Urroz said. “And this trail is going to be a big part of why kids and families want to visit Price Park.”

Urroz invited a group of children present at the grand opening to participate in the official ribbon cutting. They included Brandon Williams, Zachary Williams, Lula Bovino, Maddie Brown and Emma Brown.

According to Urroz, one of the next Kids in Parks TRACK Trails to open will be connected to property surrounding the White House in Washington, D.C. It is scheduled to open in October.

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