Tampa Honored as 2017 Playful City USA Community
258 cities and towns recognized for putting the needs of kids and families first as part of Playful City USA program
National non-profit KaBOOM! is honoring the City of Tampa with a 2017 Playful City USA designation for the sixth time. Playful City USA honors cities and towns across the country for putting the needs of families first so kids can learn, grow and develop important life skills. These communities are transforming ordinary places into playful spaces and using play as a solution to the challenges facing their residents.
The 2017 Playful City USA recognition includes 258 communities from Richmond, Virginia to Richmond, California that make it as easy as possible for kids to play. In total, these communities feature more than 14,000 safe and engaging play spaces that serve more than 4 million kids.
The City of Tampa is made up of 170 miles of neighborhoods and almost 360,000 residents, which means that playability is critical to the development of our community’s future leaders, our children. The City of Tampa Parks and Recreation Department operates 178 parks and 31 community centers within its 170 miles of jurisdiction. Within those parks, are located 77 playgrounds, 12 pools, 9 splash pads, 70 miles of greenways and 1,350 acres of playability for the community. The City of Tampa offers numerous ways for our youth to access playability; from our teen focused Stay & Play program to our Tampa Tots in Transition program, we have something for everyone.
“From programming to greenspaces to event lawns to nature trails our parks serve as backyards, front yards, and gateways for our communities and visitors alike,” said Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn. “Whether you’re attending a concert during the College Football Playoff or partaking in our Stay & Play program during the Summer, there’s something for everyone.”
As cities are becoming hotbeds for innovation, communities across the country are creating inventive ways to attract and retain residents. Playful City USA honorees are taking bold action to ensure kids have great places to play – all with the ultimate goal of making play the easy choice for all kids, no matter where they live. In addition to the playground down the street, Playful City USA communities are turning grocery stores, vacant lots, crosswalks and sidewalks into opportunities for play.
“We are thrilled to recognize the City of Tampa for putting kids first,” said KaBOOM! CEO James Siegal. “The well-being of our communities starts with the well-being of our kids, and play is critical for them to thrive. It is our collective responsibility to ensure that all kids get the childhood they deserve filled with play.”
To see the full list of Playful City USA communities and to learn more about making play the easy choice for kids, visit kaboom.org/playfulcityusa. You can also take part in the conversation with leaders across the country using #PLAYceforkids on Twitter and Facebook.
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 16,700 playgrounds, engaged more than one million volunteers and served 8.5 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.
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