Tuesday, January 15, 2008


The City of Atlanta won the Playful City USA Award from KaBOOM!, a national nonprofit organization that envisions a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America. The City of Atlanta Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs in collaboration with the Atlanta Task Force on Play and KaBOOM! are being recognized for creating an agenda on play and demonstrating a commitment to healthy development of children. The award is presented annually to cities throughout the US who demonstrate a commitment in providing quality play areas for children.
The project was initiated by The Atlanta Taskforce on Play, chaired by Cynthia Gentry. The Taskforce, which expects to have art and tree-filled play space near every child in the City by the end of 2010, will develop and train new community groups and forge additional partnerships in their efforts.
“Earning the Playful City USA designation and then a first place in the grant competition reinforces what I learned four years ago when I first got engaged with building playgrounds in Atlanta: we have the best Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department in the country,” says Cynthia Gentry. “Atlanta is a city that cares deeply about the welfare of its children and that care is reflected in the effort and commitment being made to make this a more playful place to live."
Hundreds of cities around the United States submitted applications for grants. Only 31 cities were chosen to compete at the highest level. Atlanta's video was produced pro bono by Cinema Concepts with participation from the Mayor, Council members; APS, children, Parks and Recreation, CNN and a host of community leaders and residents. A combination of the grant proposal, the ability to meet the goals of Playful City and the video resulted in the Gold Award for Atlanta. Atlanta receives the $25,000 and the trophy.
“Winning The Playful City USA award is incredible for the City of Atlanta. It validates our commitment with our community partners that we are working together to surpass any expectations that are parks are anything but subservient for our residents,” says Dianne Harnell Cohen, Commissioner, City of Atlanta Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs.
Since 1995, KaBOOM! has used its innovative community-build model to bring together business and community interests to construct more than 1,300 new playgrounds, skateparks, sports fields and ice rinks across North America. KaBOOM! also offers a variety of resources, including an online community, regional and national trainings, grants, publications and the KaBOOM! National Campaign for Play, which includes Playful City USA and the Playmaker Network – a national network of individual advocates for play.

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