KaBOOM!, the national nonprofit dedicated to giving kids the childhood they deserve through play, awarded 257 communities with the recognition as a 2016 Playful City USA. These 257 family-friendly cities are selected for their leadership in making it easy for all kids to get balanced and active play in their neighborhoods, and have pledged to integrate play as a solution to tackle a number of urgent challenges plaguing our society in ways that benefit kids growing up in poverty.
In its 10th year, Playful City USA is a national recognition program that honors cities and towns for taking bold steps to create more play opportunities for all kids. The KaBOOM! Playful City USA program has inspired infrastructure investments, programs and policy changes among cities across the country.
To see the full list of the 257 communities named 2016 Playful City USA honorees, or for more information about the Playful City USA program, visit playfulcityusa.org.
"We are thrilled to recognize cities that invest in putting kids first," said KaBOOM! CEO James Siegal. "Balanced and active play is crucial to ensuring kids— and the places they live— thrive. By integrating play into cities, the leaders of our Playful City USA communities recognize that kids and families want to live in close proximity to safe places to play."
Playful City USA honorees range from 10 year honorees Atlanta, GA and Tucson, AZ, to first-time recipients Richmond, VA and Boise, ID. While they vary in size and geography, these communities are all engaging their citizens to reimagine cities with kids in mind.
"We are honored to be recognized for the 9th year as a KaBOOM! Playful City USA," said Buddy Dyer, Mayor of Orlando, FL. "Our children are the future of our community and the City of Orlando is committed to ensuring happy, healthy futures for our youth. I am proud that our community is a national leader in this effort as we continue to work to change our children's lives and help them to lead healthier, physically active lifestyles."
In addition to the 2016 Playful City USA recognition, KaBOOM! recently launched the KaBOOM! Play Everywhere Challenge, a national competition to share ideas for making communities more playful by adding play to places that don’t usually have it— from sidewalks to bus stops to vacant lots and beyond— and to win a share of $1 million to help bring those ideas to life. To apply, visit playeverywhere.kaboom.org.
About KaBOOM! KaBOOM! is the national non-profit dedicated to giving all kids – particularly those growing up in poverty in America – the childhood they deserve filled with balanced and active play, so they can thrive. Since 1996, KaBOOM! has collaborated with partners to build, open or improve nearly 16,300 playgrounds, engaged more than one million volunteers and served 8.1 million kids. KaBOOM! creates great places to play, inspires communities to promote and support play, and works to drive the national discussion about the importance of play in fostering healthy and productive lives. To learn why #playmatters and why cities are embracing #playability: visit kaboom.org or join the conversation at twitter.com/kaboom or facebook.com/kaboom.