CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) and the North Carolina Museum of Art (NCMA) today unveiled a new greenway trail called the Blue Loop. The mile-long loop, located on the museum’s 164-acre Raleigh campus, is part of BCBSNC’s Get Outside North Carolina! initiative (GO NC!).
The Blue Loop extends a network of recreational trails on NCMA’s campus and connects the Museum Park to the Capital Area Greenway System. The new trail provides physical activity and art to thousands of NCMA visitors, including cyclists, walkers and runners. All North Carolinians and visitors can use the trail free of charge.
“Studies show that physically active people can save $500 per year on their health care costs,[i] which is something that should get everyone’s attention,” said Brad Wilson, BCBSNC president and CEO. “By collaborating with organizations such as the North Carolina Museum of Art to support new opportunities for exercise, we’re giving North Carolinians opportunities to be active and stay healthy, which can make a real difference in their health care spending.”
Through the four-year GO NC! initiative, BCBSNC is offering new opportunities to help North Carolinians get active, reduce obesity rates and control their medical costs.
“Today, the City of Raleigh continues to show its commitment to expanding the Capital Area Greenway System by supporting Blue Cross’ and the North Carolina Museum of Art’s new Blue Loop greenway trail,” said Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane. “This type of project is a great benefit to the citizens of Raleigh. It provides new opportunities to enjoy nature and outdoor activities in an urban setting.”
The City of Raleigh first founded the Capital Area Greenway System in 1974 to provide citizens with a place for outdoor recreation when the city began to grow rapidly. Today, the system has grown to an 88-mile, 3,700-acre system.
“As America’s largest museum art park, we have the opportunity to offer North Carolinians and visitors with a unique recreational destination that promotes healthy living and provides public access to art,” said Lawrence J. Wheeler, director of the NCMA. “The Blue Loop allows us to offer a new experience to our members and area visitors.”
BCBSNC’s GO NC! initiative began in July 2012 with the launch of Charlotte B-cycle, the first bike-share program in North Carolina and the largest urban system in the Southeast. As of April 2013, Charlotte citizens and visitors have checked out the bikes almost 22,000 times and burned more than 3.5 million calories.
This past July, BCBSNC also announced its effort to help complete the Gary Shell Cross-City Trail, a 15-mile trail that runs from downtown Wilmington to the drawbridge at Wrightsville Beach. Construction is under way and will be complete in the fall of 2013.
For more information, visit www.bcbsnc.com/gonc. Or follow BCBSNC and NCMA on Facebook and Twitter. You can join the conversation online with the #GONC or #BlueLoopNC hashtags.
For more information about the Museum Park, visit www.ncartmuseum.org/park.
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina:
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is a leader in delivering innovative health care products, services and information to more than 3.74 million members, including approximately 1 million served on behalf of other Blue Plans. For generations, the company has served its customers by offering health insurance at a competitive price and has served the people of North Carolina through support of community organizations, programs and events that promote good health. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina was recognized as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies by Ethisphere Institute in 2012 and 2013. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Visit BCBSNC online at bcbsnc.com . All other marks are the property of their respective owners.
About the North Carolina Museum of Art:
The North Carolina Museum of Art’s permanent collection spans more than 5,000 years, from ancient Egypt to the present, making the institution one of the premier art museums in the Southeast. The Museum’s collection provides educational, aesthetic, intellectual, and cultural experiences for the citizens of North Carolina and beyond. The 164-acre Museum Park showcases the connection between art and nature through site-specific works of environmental art. The Museum offers changing national touring exhibitions, classes, lectures, family activities, films, and concerts.
Admission to the Museum’s permanent collection and Museum Park is free. Museum hours are Tuesday–Thursday and Saturday–Sunday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.; Friday, 10 a.m.–9 p.m.; Closed Monday. For more information about the Museum, visit www.ncartmuseum.org.
The Museum opened West Building in 2010, home to the permanent collection. The North Carolina Museum of Art, Lawrence J. Wheeler, director, is located at 2110 Blue Ridge Road in Raleigh. It is the art museum of the State of North Carolina, Pat McCrory, governor, and an agency of the Department of Cultural Resources, Susan W. Kluttz, secretary.