Bull City Play Streets slated
The winter chill is loosening its grip and soon it will be “game on” for families as Durham prepares for its first Bull City Play Streets event.
The inaugural Play Streets event will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 4. During this time, East Main Street between Alston Avenue and Elm Street will be closed to traffic. Parking will be at the corners of Franklin and Elm streets in the back lot of Refiner’s Fire Community Church and signs will be posted to help event attendees.
The planned activities include line dancing instruction, jump roping, bike safety training, four squares, hula hooping, badminton, hop scotch, and other physical fitness activities. As part of this event, Refiner’s Fire Community Church Health Fair will also host a variety of health screenings such as blood pressure, HIV, body mass index, prostate, hepatitis and eye screenings. There will also be informational booths for quitting smoking, nutrition, fitness plans, teen pregnancy prevention and much more.
The city and county of Durham and Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina collaborated to win a $50,000 grant to create Bull City Play Streets. The grant provides funds, technical assistance and communications and marketing support from Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association and Partnership for a Healthier America, which works with the private sector and its honorary chair, first lady Michelle Obama, to end the childhood obesity epidemic in America, to launch the program. Durham is one of 10 cities selected to participate in the nationwide program.
“This is an exciting time in Durham,” said Gayle B. Harris, director of the Durham County Department of Public Health. “Physical activity and health initiatives are integral parts of the city and county’s strategic plans and Bull City Play Streets allows us to empower our residents to take an active role to get their neighborhoods moving. Ultimately, with the proper tools and resources, we look forward having other neighborhoods asking to host a Play Streets event on their blocks.”
Constance Stancil, director of the City’s Neighborhood Improvement Services Department, echoed Harris’ sentiments. “We are eager to re-imagine our streets as the public places they once were and use that public space to get people outside and physically active. Creating a community space for individuals, children, and families to safely walk, jog, bicycle, skate, and have easy access to physical activities is an important aspect of thriving livable neighborhoods.”
Over the next months, Bull City Play Streets will take place in other locations throughout Durham:
--Saturday, June 1, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Kent and Jackson streets area.
--Saturday, June 15, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Driver Street between Southgate and Ashe streets.
--Saturday, Sept. 7, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Holt Elementary School, 4019 Holt School Road.
--Saturday, Oct. 5, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Foster Street area.
For more information about Bull City Play Streets, contact the city of Durham’s Neighborhood Improvement Services Department at 919-560-1647 or visit http://ahealthieramerica.org/play-streets/find-a-play-street/durham-north-carolina/. For more information on the Play Streets grant, visit http://durhamnc.gov/Pages/NNDetails.aspx?detailId=302.