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City, County, BCBSNC Set to Kickoff First Bull City Play Streets Event

Free event is the first of five scheduled during the spring and summer months throughout Durham

Post Date:04/05/2013 4:30 PM
 City of Durham logo


City of Durham
County of Durham


Joint News Release

For Immediate Release: April 5, 2013

News Media Contacts:
Eric Nickens, Jr.
Information and Communications Mgr.
Durham County Dept. of Public Health
(919) 560-7624

Amy Blalock
Sr. Public Affairs Specialist
City of Durham Office of Public Affairs
(919) 560-4123, ext. 11253  
 Durham County DCo Logo

– 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 on Saturday, May 4, 2013 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. During this time, East Main Street between Alston Avenue and Elm Street will be closed to vehicular traffic. Parking will be located 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 physical 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 and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) 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 (BCBSA) and Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA), 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 nation-wide 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 reimagine 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 few months, Bull City Play Streets will take place in other locations throughout Durham:
• Saturday, June 1, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., Kent and Jackson streets area
• Saturday, June 15, from 9:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m., Driver Street between Southgate and Ashe streets
• Saturday, September 7, from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m., Holt Elementary School, 4019 Holt School Rd.
• Saturday, October 5, from 10 a.m. until 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 For more information on the Play Streets grant, visit

About the City of Durham Neighborhood Improvement Services Department
The Neighborhood Improvement Services Department works to preserve and improve quality of life conditions for Durham residents, and to encourage active participation in neighborhood redevelopment and public policy and decision making dialogue. The department’s Community Engagement staff provides outreach and education to Durham residents and community organizations. Guided by the City’s Strategic Plan, the department helps ensure that Durham has thriving, livable neighborhoods by providing the highest quality of services to engage and educate the community, eradicate blight, ensure safer neighborhoods, and enhance neighborhood revitalization. For more information, visit

About the Durham County Department of Public Health
Since 1913, the Durham County Department of Public Health (DCoDPH) has worked throughout the Durham community to prevent disease, promote health, and protect the environment. Guided by Durham County Government’s Strategic Plan, the department works to strengthen the well-being of individuals and families through prevention, education, and partnering with community resources. For more information about DCoDPH, visit, connect with DCoDPH on Facebook, or follow DCoDPH on Twitter.

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 All other marks are the property of their respective owners.

About Partnership for a Healthier America
Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) is devoted to working with the private sector to ensure the health of our nation’s youth by solving the childhood obesity crisis. In 2010, PHA was created in conjunction with – but independent from – First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! effort. PHA is a nonpartisan nonprofit organization that is led by some of the nation’s most respected health and childhood obesity experts. PHA brings together public, private and nonprofit leaders to broker meaningful commitments and develop strategies to end childhood obesity. Most importantly, PHA ensures that commitments made are commitments kept by working with unbiased third parties to monitor and publicly report on the progress its partners are making. For more information about PHA, please visit and follow PHA on Twitter @PHAnews.

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