Redwood City Recognized as “Playful City USA” for Fifth Consecutive Year by Nationwide Non-Profit, KaBOOM!
KaBOOM! and Humana Foundation Unveil Redwood City as One of 212 Cities Across the Country for Prioritizing Play as a Means to Promote Physical, Mental, and Social Wellness
June 18, 2014
Director of Parks Recreation and Community Services
Redwood City, Calif. - Redwood City is proud to announce that it has earned recognition as a 2014 Playful City USA – the fifth time it has received this honor since 2010. The national award, presented by nationwide non-profit park and play advocate, KaBOOM!, honors cities determined to prioritize play and ensure that children are healthy by providing the time and space for play. This year, KaBOOM! designated 212 cities across the country, including Redwood City, as a Playful City USA community, for taking bold steps to ensure that all children, especially the 16 million American kids living in poverty, have easy access to balanced and active play in their communities.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, play is important to healthy brain development and allows children to use their creativity while developing their imagination, dexterity, and physical, cognitive, and emotional strength. Today’s children spend less time playing outside than any previous generation in part because only 20 percent live within walking distance of a park or playground. This play deficit is having profound consequences for kids physically as well as mentally and socially because children need a place to play every day in order to be active and healthy.
Redwood City’s Parks Recreation and Community Services (PRCS) department was recognized for its devotion to children’s development through movement by providing numerous programs and spaces for play. PRCS finalized a comprehensive Joint Use Agreement with the Redwood City School District for sharing public facilities to ensure the availability of play spaces; through a substantial three-year grant, partnered with the School District and the Peninsula Covenant Community Center to provide physical education during the school day to more than 5,000 children two days a week; played a lead role in providing 20 separate sports offerings for 2,768 participants through the Youth After School Sports Program in partnership with the Police Activities League (PAL) and several other non-profits; and initiated several park improvements including the Mezes Park renovation, the Fair Oaks Field synthetic turf replacement, and the Jardin de Ninos Park renovation planning.
“One of our Strategic Initiatives is a ‘community for all ages.’ And we accomplish that goal, in large part, through our dedication to providing spaces for play, and fun and engaging physical fitness for youth,” explains Mayor Jeffrey Gee. “City Council is proud of our PRCS team for having the resourcefulness to create partnerships to enhance play for our community, the creativity to develop programming that keeps kids moving, and the staff who are passionate about the importance of physical play for kids.”To see the full list of the 212 communities named 2014 Playful City USA honorees, or for more information on the Playful City USA program, visit www.playfulcityusa.org. More information about KaBOOM! can be found at www.kaboom.org/playfulcityusa.