KaBOOM! names Playful City USA communities
Sixty-seven cities have been named Playful City USA communities by Washington-based KaBOOM!, a non-profit promoter of playground construction. Each city was selected for its efforts to improve the quantity, quality and accessibility of its playgrounds.
Playful City USA communities serve as role models for local governments that share KaBOOM!’s goal of creating playgrounds within walking distance of every child, according to a statement from the group. “In a time when communities are struggling with critical financial decisions, these Playful City USA communities proved their commitment to the cause of play by launching creative initiatives designed to increase access to playspaces, improving the quality of play in their community, and increasing the time children spend playing,” said KaBOOM! CEO and co-founder Darell Hammond in a statement. “The ideas range the gamut, from new programming and access initiatives to creating informational resources and public private partnerships. It just goes to show you, where there’s a will, there’s a play.”
New York made the list in recognition of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s plan to create 185 new playgrounds to serve more than 380,000 children. And St. Petersburg, Fla., was recognized for its partnership with schools and churches to build playgrounds within a half-mile of every child, increasing the number of play spaces in the city by 20 percent.
Applications for the 2009 Playful City USA campaign will be available beginning Oct. 13. The complete 2008 list and more information about the program are available at www.kaboom.org/.