Mayor Chris Beutler today announced that Lincoln is the first city in Nebraska to be named a "Playful City." Playful City USA is a national recognition program sponsored by Humana Foundation in partnership with KaBOOM! The program honors communities that are taking bold steps to ensure that all children have easy access to balanced and active play in their communities.
Playful City USA honorees are recognized for making a commitment to transform their communities to become more playable by developing unique local action plans to increase the quantity and quality of play in their communities. The Lincoln Parks and Recreation Department and Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department will represent the City in the community effort to raise awareness of the importance of play.
Mayor Beutler said keeping Lincoln a great place for kids to play is extremely important in attracting and retaining families in our community. "The entire community can take pride in our national recognition as a Playful City," Mayor Beutler said. "With the public's help, we are able to provide trails, playgrounds and other affordable and accessible facilities where families can play together. Because play contributes so much to healthy minds and bodies, we can't rest on our laurels. We need to continue to work together to create even more opportunities for families to get out and play in Lincoln."
The Playful City designation supports Mayor Beutler's efforts to make Lincoln the healthiest city in the country. In 2010, Mayor Beutler signed on to First Lady Michelle Obama's national childhood obesity prevention campaign, and in 2013, Lincoln was recognized by the National League of Cities as a Let's Move! City. In August, Mayor Beutler issued a five-year challenge to the community to make healthy living a top priority. He called upon young people and adults to improve their health with more physical activity and healthy food choices.
Lincoln was one of 212 Playful City USA honorees. KaBOOM! is a national nonprofit dedicated to ensuring that all children, especially the 16 million American children living in poverty, get the active play they need to become health and successful adults. More information on the Playful City program is available at kaboom.org. The Humana Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Humana Inc., a national health care company. More information is available at humanafoundation.org.