Mayor Chris Beutler today announced that Lincoln has been named a "Playful City" for the third year. Playful City USA, a national recognition program established by KaBOOM!, is celebrating its 10th anniversary of honoring cities and towns across the country for making their cities more playable. Lincoln became the first city in Nebraska to be a named a Playful City when it received the designation in 2014. 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.
"Reducing childhood obesity is an important goal, and it will take a team of community partners to accomplish it," said Mayor Beutler. "We must continue to be dedicated to increasing fun opportunities for children to be active. I want to thank our Parks and Health departments for the work they do every day to encourage our kids to adopt healthy behaviors at a young age."
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.
"We are thrilled to recognize these communities that have invested their time and efforts to put kids first," said KaBOOM's 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."
For more information on the Playful City USA program and the list of the 257 communities named 2016 Playful City USA honorees, visit playfulcityusa.org and use #playability on Twitter and Facebook. KaBOOM! (kaboom.org) is a national nonprofit dedicated to bringing balanced and active play into the daily lives of all kids, particularly those growing up in poverty.