LAKELAND, FL (June 12, 2017) - The City of Lakeland was recently designated a 2017 Playful City by the national non-profit KaBOOM! 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.
Lakeland was one of 258 communities recognized across the United States for making it as easy as possible for kids to play. In total, the winning communities have more than 14,000 safe and engaging play spaces that serve more than 4-million kids.
The City of Lakeland’s planning process ensures that play opportunities are dispersed throughout the City. Neighborhoods have balanced access to both play programming and park space. Partnerships with outside agencies and non-profits create great play spaces and demonstrate the commitment that our community has for improving and sustaining recreational spaces throughout the City of Lakeland.
Pam Page, Deputy Director of Parks & Recreation said, “Play is a critical component of a child’s well-being and therefore a stepping stone to enabling children to become productive future community leaders. We are dedicated to promoting life-long recreational opportunities to help further the advancement of our children and improve the quality of life for our adult population.”
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.
“We are thrilled to recognize Lakeland for putting kids first,” said KaBOOM CEO James Siegal. “The health 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 and Lakeland is doing great things.”
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.
Kevin Cook, Director of Communications | City of Lakeland | 863/834-6264