National non-profit KaBOOM! is honoring Mesa with a 2017 Playful City USA designation for the ninth time. Playful City USA honors cities and towns across the country for putting the needs of families first so kids can learn, grow and develop important life skills. These communities are transforming ordinary places into playful spaces and using play as a solution to the challenges facing their residents.
The 2017 Playful City USA recognition includes 258 communities that make it as easy as possible for kids to play. In total, these communities feature more than 14,000 safe and engaging playspaces that serve more than 4 million kids.
“This is quite an honor to again receive the Playful City USA designation by KaBOOM,” Mesa Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities Director Marc Heirshberg said. “We know Mesa offers a great number of play options at our parks, trails, recreation centers, fields and sports complexes for both kids and adults and we are glad to be recognized on a national level as well.”
Mesa has received the Playful City USA designation each year since 2009. This year, Pioneer Park is getting a massive makeover, Greenfield Park improvements should be completed by fall, the city’s pools are about to open and summer programs are about to begin. This past year saw the opening of a new universally inclusive playground at Dobson Ranch Park and the opening of Fiesta Sports Park.
“We are thrilled to recognize Mesa for putting kids first,” KaBOOM! CEO James Siegal said. “The well-being of our communities starts with the well-being of our kids, and play is critical for them to thrive. It is our collective responsibility to ensure that all kids get the childhood they deserve filled with play.”
To see the full list of Playful City USA communities and to learn more about making play the easy choice for kids, visit www.kaboom.org/playfulcityusa. You can also take part in the conversation with leaders across the country using #PLAYceforkids on Twitter and Facebook. To learn more about Mesa Parks and Recreation, visit: www.MesaAZ.gov/parksrec.