CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Starting this summer, public play spaces in North Carolina can get an upgrade that will have families skipping with joy. Community agencies are invited to apply for a grant to encourage the young and the young at heart to be more active and imaginative outdoors. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) and the North Carolina Recreation and Park Association (NCRPA) are collaborating to transform open spaces and build healthier communities by installing PlayPrints across the state.

PlayPrints are ground markings, or colorful shapes and games that are painted on existing pavement. Research shows that children who visit play spaces with ground markings take part in more physical activity than children at unmarked playgrounds[i].

“We want to promote healthy habits at an early age and make it fun for North Carolinians to get outside and get active with their families,” said Kathy Higgins, vice president of corporate affairs at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina. “PlayPrints are a simple way to take existing outdoor spaces in our communities and transform them into a center for healthy activity and imaginative play.”

Over the next two years, PlayPrints will be popping up at open play spaces as part of BCBSNC’s Get Outside North Carolina! (GO NC!) program. Go NC! builds healthy and active lifestyles through the advancement of greenway systems, increased access to public bicycles and the overall promotion of outdoor physical activity


Apply to bring PlayPrints to your community!
  • Application open July 6, 2015 – August 6, 2015
  • Grant recipients selected August 21, 2015 and notified by August 27, 2015
  • Applications are available on NCRPA’s website,  


“Providing fun and creative avenues to engage our communities by adding PlayPrints to our parks and greenways is an exciting way to encourage citizens of all ages to have a little fun while increasing physical activity,” said Michelle Wells, executive director at NCRPA.

Questions about PlayPrints and the application should be directed to Michelle Wells at NCRPA,


About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina:

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina improves the health and well-being of our customers and communities by providing innovative health care products, services and information to more than 3.91 million members, including approximately 1 million served on behalf of other Blue Plans. Since 1933, we have worked to make North Carolina a better place to live through our support of community organizations, programs and events that promote good health. We have been recognized as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies by Ethisphere Institute every year since 2012. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Visit BCBSNC online at All other marks are the property of their respective owners.

About the North Carolina Recreation & Park Association:

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 .


[i] Stratton G, Mullan E. The effect of multicolor playground markings on children’s physical activity level during recess. Preventive Medicine 2005; 41 (5-6) 828-833.