Tryon approves Kids In Park program for Woodland Park

Published 10:00 pm Wednesday, March 1, 2017

The Town of Tryon is partnering with the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation for a Kids in Park program. Pictured is the current map at Woodland Park, showing the trail system and waterfall there. (photo by Leah Justice)

TRYON – The Town of Tryon approved joining the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation’s Kids In Park Program for the town-owned Woodland Park.

Tryon Town Council met Feb. 21 and approved a memorandum of understanding to join the program.

Tryon Town Manager Zach Ollis said the partnership is through the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation, where there is approximately $8,000 worth of grants available with the town contributing $400 per year for four years.

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Ollis said the foundation provides grants in a number of ways. One way is for kids to sign up for the program and get a passport. The children log in online and fill out information to go hike a trail and when they complete that the children get prizes, such as bandanas, patches, first aid kits and stickers.

Ollis said the program would install a kiosk at Woodland Park with pamphlets. He added that he could get the program started within a month and will then meet with the elementary school to get students involved. He said he has already had conversations with a couple of churches about the program.

The mission of the Kids in Parks program is to work together 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, the memorandum of understanding states.

Kids in Parks accomplishes its mission through the installation of TRACK Trails, a series of networked hiking trails that provide brochure-led, self-guided adventures designed to turn an ordinary hike into a fun-filled adventure.

Woodland Park is located at 262 Chestnut Street in Tryon and is approximately 10 acres of natural parkland providing hiking trails through unspoiled forest.