Owensboro is being honored with a 2016 Playful City USA designation for the first time. Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the national recognition program honors cities and towns across the country for making their cities more playable.
The City of Owensboro’s commitment to quality of life initiatives and access to green space and play through maintaining a solid infrastructure of play opportunities that include multi-purpose fields; sports courts and sports fields; walking, biking, hiking and running trails; recreational facilities and playgrounds earned our community this recognition and honor. The recognition highlights our municipal leadership on the cause of play and the value of play for the health and wellness of our children, all residents, and our economy.
“As Mayor, I have seen how creating a sense of place and making opportunities for recreation and play readily available to all of our residents can change an attitude within a community, and how that change benefits the economy and overall community health.
In Owensboro, our citizens understand the value and embrace the benefits of our focused efforts on our community’s health, well-being and economic vitality. Our commitment to reducing inequity in accessibility to recreational spaces and opportunities for all citizens and our focus on commitment to the well-being of our youngest citizens is shown through our consistent efforts to improve our community’s recreational spaces and grow those spaces and opportunities. As a father and grandfather, I understand that a healthy balance of play for our youth produces the most well-rounded, capable, and successful citizen as an adult,” stated Mayor Ron Payne.
Communities across the country are creating innovative ways to bring back play and attract residents through family friendly activities. Interactive sidewalk art, designated play spaces on trails and the transformation of schoolyards into active play areas are just a few examples of how cities are becoming more playful.
“We are thrilled to recognize these communities that have invested their time and efforts to put kids first,” said KaBOOM! CEO James Siegal. “Balanced and active play is crucial to the well-being of kids and the communities that they thrive in. By integrating play into cities, the leaders of Playful Cities USA are working to attract and retain the thousands of families that want homes in close proximity to safe places to play.”
To learn more about these cities, see the full list of the 257 communities named 2016 Playful City USA honorees, or to gather more information on the Playful City USA program, visit playfulcityusa.org.
We also encourage you to take part in the conversation on #playability with these thought leaders on Twitter and Facebook.