Mayor Chris Beutler announced that Lincoln has been named a "Playful City" for the second year. Lincoln became the first city in Nebraska to be a named a Playful City when it received the designation last year. Playful City USA is a national program sponsored by Humana Foundation in partnership with KaBOOM! It honors communities for 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 are two of the City departments who are part of the community effort to promote the importance of play.
"As we work to attract and retain families, we must continue to provide great places to play in Lincoln," said Mayor Beutler. "As we focus on children's health issues, especially the problem of obesity, we need to make sure families have access to the parks and programs that help them stay active. And we must continue to offer and promote programs and events like Party on the Plaza, Uncle Sam Jam, Crunch and Lunch and Streets Alive!"
Mayor Beutler said the Playful City designation supports Lincoln's goal to be the healthiest city in the country. In 2013, 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.
"Playability is crucial to the success of our future communities, and we are proud of the work these cities and leaders are doing to provide a better quality of life for all residents, and especially families," said KaBOOM! President James Siegal.
Lincoln was one of 241 Playful City USA honorees. KaBOOM! is a national nonprofit dedicated to bringing balanced and active play into the daily lives of all kids, particularly those growing up in poverty. More information on the Playful City program is available at kaboom.org, and the program can be found on Twitter and Facebook at #playability. The Humana Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Humana Inc., a national health benefits company. More information is available at humanafoundation.org.