Kids in Parks TRACKS Trail Ribbon Cutting

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Date: April 19, 2013

Catoctin Mountain Park will designate the Brown's Farm Trail in Owens Creek Picnic Area as part of the Kids in Parks program originally developed by the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation at 2:30 p.m. on Friday, April 26.

The entire 4th grade class from Westminster Elementary School, Westminster, Maryland will participate in the ribbon-cutting. They will hike the new trail in the afternoon as part of a day in the park where they will learn about wetlands and water quality at the Owens Creek Picnic Area. The field trip and hike are examples of the environmental education partnership between Catoctin Mountain Park and area schools.

The Kids in Parks program has been installing a network of kid-friendly hiking trails, called TRACK Trails, along the Blue Ridge Parkway since 2009. The program's initial success and replicability has gained national attention leading to the program's growth beyond the Blue Ridge Parkway corridor.

Jason Urroz, Director of Kids in Parks, is excited topartner with the National Park Service's National Capital Region Parks on their Healthy Parks, Healthy People DC project. " The network of TRACK Trails we have formed in the region will continue to grow, giving kids and families from the area multiple options to get outdoors, get "unplugged" and get connected to the resources, special places and national history that make this region so wonderful."

"Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation is honored to support such an innovative and important initiative as it expands beyond North Carolina to our nation's capital",  says Jennifer MacDougall, senior program officer with BCBSNC Foundation. "Catoctin Mountain Park Superintendent Mel Poole welcomes the partnership between the National Park Service and the health care industry, "Support from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation of North Carolina is an important first step towards broad recognition of National Parks as natural places for healthy activities and place-based learning laboratories."

Over the next few years, the National Park Service, and partners like Kids in Parks, will continue to make progress in the fight against childhood obesity and nature deficit disorder by expanding opportunities for kids and families to get outdoors and active in our parks and public lands; by continuing to move the "Park Prescriptions" program forward, encouraging pediatricians across the country to begin prescribing parks and outdoor activity to kids; and by continuing to install TRACK Trails in National Parks and other partnering land management agencies across the county.

For more information about the Kids in Parks program's TRACK Trails in the Washington, DC region, or for more information about the program in general, please visit their webpage @

Catoctin Mountain Park is one of over 400 units administered by the National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior. The park Visitor Center, located on State Route 77 three miles west of Thurmont, Maryland, is open daily from 9:30 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. on Friday , and from 8:30 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Correspondence should be addressed to: Superintendent, Catoctin Mountain Park, 6602 Foxville Road, Thurmont, MD 21788. Our website address is information can be obtained by calling the Visitor Center at(301) 663-9388.

Last updated: April 10, 2015

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