BCBSNC supports healthy eating, physical activity and preventive care initiatives in North Carolina.
We created GO NC! to build healthy lifestyles by encouraging North Carolinians to get outside and get active by helping to complete trails and greenways, providing public bicycles and installing playground art or "ground markings." We help North Carolinians of all ages across the state to be more active.
PlayPrints are colorful shapes, images and games painted on open pavement. Research shows that children who visit playgrounds with these artful markings take part in a greater amount of physical activity during recess than children at unmarked playgrounds.1
"Bringing PlayPrints to parks and community centers across our state provides another opportunity for children to have fun and be more physically active," says Michelle Wells executive director of the North Carolina Recreation and Park Association (NCRPA). "The colorful and creative designs are eye catching and let children play standard games or create their own."
It's inspiring to see the commitment of local organizations to engage our communities in physical activity," said Kathy Higgins, vice president of corporate affairs at BCBSNC. "We are proud to work alongside NCRPA to support creative use of our existing outdoor spaces and build healthier communities across the state."
NCRPA works with BCBSNC to build healthier communities by providing grants to install PlayPrints at outdoor spaces across the state. PlayPrint grants have been awarded to more than 40 local park and recreation departments and are part of BCBSNC's Get Outside North Carolina! (GO NC!) program.
GO NC! helps North Carolinians build healthy and active lifestyles through the advancement of greenway systems, increased access to public bicycles and the overall promotion of outdoor physical activity.
PlayPrints will be installed around the state through the Fall of 2016. To learn more about PlayPrints and when they'll be ready for action, visit www.NCRPA.net/PlayPrints.
Founded in 1944, the North Carolina Recreation & Park Association (NCRPA) is the premier nonprofit education and advocacy organization, dedicated to the advancement of the park, recreation and leisure professions in our state. NCRPA empowers park and recreation professionals and citizen board members through educational opportunities that enhance their ability to change lives and impact communities on a daily basis for the citizens of North Carolina. For an overview of the programs and services offered by the organization, visit www.ncrpa.net.
Get Outside North Carolina! We're investing in the community and investing in good health by making it easier to get outside and get active with a public bicycle program and additions to a variety of North Carolina greenways.
1 mile of multi-use trail was built on the museum's 164-acre art-park campus in Raleigh.
15 miles of continuous, multi-use trails that provide bicycle and pedestrian access to numerous recreational, cultural and educational destinations in Wilmington.
1.4 miles of trails have been added to the outdoor learning space.
Play "Fosters Healthy and Productive Lives"
KaBOOM! is a national non-profit working "to bring balanced and active play into the daily lives of all children, particularly those growing up in poverty in America."1 Their mission translates to action by building playgrounds, supporting play in communities and promoting the message of the "importance of play in fostering healthy and productive lives."1
One of the best things about the organization is its focus on empowerment - of communities, sure, but especially of children.
The kids get to take part in the KaBOOM! design process, drawing their dream playgrounds, and the designers in Washington, DC, use them to come up with three designs that the kids then vote on, so they get to design and choose their own playground and really become invested in the project.
Then, communities get involved – BCBSNC is not alone in volunteering. Community volunteers come out to the build and everyone gets invested. And kids get to feel like someone cares. They are important. And heard. It's beautiful.
BCBSNC supports KaBOOM! by volunteering at playground builds across the state, from the planning stages all the way through construction. The Asheville Project Summer 2015 blog post is the seventh KaBOOM! build for BCBSNC employee volunteers, with other play spaces in Winston-Salem, Durham, Greensboro (two locations), Wilmington and Fayetteville.
Kathy Higgins, VP of Corporate Affairs at BCBSNC said in her blog post about the Fayetteville build:
The KaBOOM! projects reflect our mission statement: To improve the health and well being of our customers and communities. I'm proud that at Blue Cross, we don't just talk about a mission – we live it by working with leaders and volunteers ... to address community needs.
Look at you! Getting 10,000 in steps while spending quality time with your family. You're meeting your 2016 goals for fitness and being a great role model for your kids.
It isn't a dream. You've discovered "Walk of the Week," the new walking series created by BCBSNC and the Museum of Life and Science, that leads visitors and families on educational scavenger hunts through the museum's 84 acres of scenic woodlands.
Walk of the Week builds on the museum's interactive, hands-on experience by providing self-guided walking tours with a new nature theme each week. Walkers get a hint or clue at the start of the walk, and a map leading them to an exciting and educational discovery in the great outdoors.
In North Carolina, 1 in 3 children is obese1 and adults have the 17th highest obesity rate in the nation.2
"I'm pleased to have BCBSNC as a supporter of the museum's educational mission and the upcoming expansion of our outdoor environment," says Barry Van Deman, president and CEO, Museum of Life and Science. "Healthy development includes keeping a sense of wonder alive, and that's what the museum offers."
BCBSNC and the Museum are teaming up through 2016 to provide more opportunities for North Carolina families to stay active and learn together. As part of their three-year partnership, BCBSNC has made a $150,000 commitment to bring the museum one step closer to adding 1.8 miles of outdoor trails to its campus. This infrastructure will help the museum's 440,000 annual visitors access four more acres of new outdoor exhibits planned to open in 2016.
"Regular physical activity is essential to leading a healthy life, which in turn helps to control the cost of health care," says Brad Wilson, BCBSNC president and CEO. "But families shouldn't have to choose between family time and a workout. In the right setting, you can accomplish these two things together."
Why a walk every week?
Walk of the Week is designed to encourage health and fitness for North Carolina children and families in a fun, educational environment. BCBSNC's support for the program is part of Get Outside North Carolina! (GO NC!), a broader effort by the company to encourage North Carolinians to embrace active lifestyles.
Follow BCBSNC and the Museum of Life and Science on Facebook and Twitter using #walkoftheweek and #lifeandscience to discover a new "Walk of the Week" each week through 2016.
The Museum of Life and Science is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to create a place of lifelong learning where people, from young children to senior citizens, embrace science as a way of knowing about themselves, their community, and their world. Located just blocks from downtown Durham, the Museum of Life and Science is one of the North Carolina's top family destinations as voted by the readers of Carolina Parent, Durham Magazine and The Independent Weekly. Situated on 84-acres, the museum's interactive science park includes a two-story science center, one of the largest butterfly conservatories on the East Coast and beautifully landscaped outdoor exhibits, which are safe havens for rescued black bears, lemurs, and endangered red wolves. Learn more at lifeandscience.org
Where can you find hundreds of cool blue bicycles just waiting to be rented?
In Uptown Charlotte thanks to the teamwork of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina and Charlotte Center City Partners. Developing a public bike system not only increases physical activity, but also encourages the use of more sustainable transportation.Find a Rental Station in Charlotte (pdf)
Keeping Communities Active for the Over-50 Crowd
In our proud tradition of promoting healthy communities, we're a leading sponsor of the North Carolina Senior Games. Every year, the Senior Games programs conduct local Olympic-style competitions, leading up to the big event: The State Senior Games. Hundreds of BCBSNC employees volunteer to help make the games a success.
N.C. Senior Games fosters healthy lifestyles for North Carolinians age 50 or older in a way that involves family, friends and the community and keeps seniors engaged in a "holistic approach to body, mind and spirit staying fit." Over 60,000 people participate in 53 local programs across all 100 counties.1
As Brad Allen, executive director of the North Carolina Senior Games, said, "The North Carolina Senior Games is the largest in the US...and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina plays a great role in [making that happen]."