Cutting-Edge Practice

Outdoor Recreation Accessibility Review: TRACK Trails

State/Jurisdiction: North Carolina
Setting: Community
Population: CYSHCN Families & Caregivers
Topic Area: Safe and Connected Communities Nutrition & Physical Activity
NPMs: NPM 8.1: Physical Activity – Ages 6 to 11 NPM 8.2: Physical Activity – Ages 12 to 17

IN 2020, Henderson County is one of eight North Carolina counties selected to participate in the North Carolina's Division of Child and Family Well-Being, Public Health, Whole Childhood Section Innovative Approaches Initiative (IA). IA aims to improve the service system for children and youth with special health care needs (up to age 21) through collaborations and partnerships with parents of children and youth with special needs (CYSHCN), medical providers, and community agencies. An initial needs assessment conducted at the beginning of the project indicated that there was a community need for more inclusive playgrounds and other outdoor recreational activities geared toward CYSHCN. To address this need, Henderson County and IA partnered with Kids in Parks/TRACK Trails with the goal of 1) increasing families with CYSHCNs awareness of TRACK Trails and increase their use of these trails; 2) involving families and CYSHCN in the assessment of the trail system so they have an active role in the improvement of the trails. Kids in the Parks/TRACK Trails was initially created in an effort to get kids and families “un-plugged”, outdoors and reconnected to nature for both their health and the health of our parks and public lands. This partnership led to the creation of an outdoor recreational space specific version of the of NC's Office on Disability and Health’s Accessibility Review which IA/Henderson County have been using with families of CYSHCN to provide feedback on ways to make outdoor spaces in the community more accessible. The hope is that this tool can eventually be reviewed and approved by NCODH and NC Americans with Disabilities Act Network and replicated for use in other communities. Results for the Accessibility Reviews will also be shared to each park and with Kids in Parks staff with recommendations for improvements and modifications. Note: The practice handout for Track Trails is currently still in process.

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Innovative Approaches – Henderson County Department of Public Health
Karen K. Caldwell
828-692-4223 ext. 6540
Practice Website
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