BlueCross Healthy Place invests in Highland Park

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — A Bluecross foundation is investing $5 million to revitalize a space for the Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy, Chattanooga Prep and Highland Park residents.

The Highland Park community will soon see some change. Cheers could be heard inside the Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy’s gymnasium. CGLA and Chattanooga Prep students found out they will get a new outdoor space designed for connection and recreation. It will be a BlueCross Healthy Place program.

“Really it is inspiring knowing that it is helping the community come together and have a time where they can be healthy and really just come out as a whole,” said Avery Love, a CGLA student.

It will include a pavilion, walking track, multi-purpose field, sports courts, and inclusive playgrounds.

“I have a younger brother. So I think this will really benefit him. He can go out into the community and be safe and also be able to play,” said Aniyah Clemons, a CGLA student.

The BlueCross Blueshield of Tennessee Health Foundation is investing $5 million into the project.

“Health studies show that health outcome rather are affected by communities that have places to be active outdoors. I don’t know why that connection is, but case after case shows that’s true. So that is what our foundation is focused on and that is how we are spending our funds,” said Scott Wilson, with BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee.

School leaders say this will also benefit the neighborhood.

“It is a game changer for not just for the two schools, but I really think for the Highland Park Community and I think it will be a place where we pull people back together again around our community,” said Dr. Elaine Swafford, the executive director of CGLA.

Students are looking forward to this new place.

“It makes me so excited to see what is to come because this is just the beginning. So much is going to come after this,” Clemons said.

BlueCross Healthy Place projects are also underway in Memphis, Kingsport and Huntland, Tennessee.

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