Thursday, May 19, 2016

City of Richmond Recognized as 2016 Playful City USA


The City of Richmond received KaBOOM’s designation as a 2016 Playful City USA.  This designation, the first of its kind for the city, is the result of a partnership between the City’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities (PCRF), the Capital Region Collaborative, and Active RVA - a program of Sports Backers. KaBOOM’s national recognition program honors cities and towns across the country for making their cities more playful.

“This recognition is a great accomplishment as we continue to grow and highlight the abundant recreational opportunities available in Richmond.  Playability adds to the quality of life for all members of our community, and especially families,” said Mayor Dwight C. Jones.

Celebrating its tenth anniversary, Playful City USA is a national recognition program that honors cities and towns across the country for taking bold steps to ensure that children in their communities, particularly kids from low income families, obtain the balanced and active play they need to thrive. Cities and towns, along with leaders from every sector working together, have the power to turn play spaces, and all spaces, into transformative theaters of activity, inspiration, and discovery.

As one of KaBOOM’s corporate partners, this designation brings the award home for Richmond’s CarMax.  "We are proud to partner with KaBOOM! and are excited that our hometown is receiving this designation," said Craig Cronheim, president of The CarMax Foundation.  "We look forward to continuing to work with KaBOOM! to ensure that all kids have a childhood filled with balance and active play, here in Richmond, and across the country. "

The City of Richmond was chosen as a Playful City, USA because of its dedication to a healthier community through its natural resources, partnerships, and innovative programs.  With assets such as the James River Park System, PCRF’s CarMax Summer Basketball League, the ARCPark, the Children’s Museum, and this weekend’s Dominion Riverrock festival, Richmond’s opportunities for activity and play are better than ever.

“Play is far more than just entertainment and leisure. It’s a fundamental component of a thriving community,” said Ashley Hall, Manager of the Capital Region Collaborative. “In a playable environment, children’s creative adventures on the playground create a foundation for classroom learning. For adults and families, play creates connections, expands social networks, and helps to build stronger and safer neighborhoods. We’re proud to join the commitment to playability, which connects across our region’s eight priority areas – from education and quality place, to the James River and healthy communities.”

Active RVA’s Director, Jeff McIntyre, states “Active play is crucial to the well-being of kids, families, and their communities.  By integrating play into cities, play provides a competitive advantage for cities looking to attract and retain residents.  We are proud of Richmond’s designation as a Playful City USA and are committed to providing opportunities for all members of the Richmond community to play and be more active.”

As a Playful City USA, Richmond will receive gateway road signs, policy tools that leverage up-to-date city data and play space mapping data, and access to grants that support increasing opportunities for play.

To learn more and see the full list of communities named 2016 Playful City USA honorees, or to gather more information on the Playful City USA program, visit www.playfulcityusa.org