241 communities exhibiting playability to be recognized
Oak Ridge is being honored with a 2015 Playful City USA designation for the fourth time. In partnership with the Humana Foundation, KaBOOM! is honoring cities, towns, and counties across the country for making their communities more playable. Oak Ridge was selected again this year because of the commitment to excellence in all parks, greenways, and play-spaces, a press release said.
“Several years ago, we embarked on an effort to make our city have more fun,” Oak Ridge City Manager Mark Watson said. “The structured activities have brought our community together and allowed new avenues of play to be by our children and our ‘adult children.'”
Neighborhood play spaces, city-wide play days, and fun special events are all ways in which these communities are appealing to residents, and attracting and retaining residents.
“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,” KaBOOM! President James Siegal. “Play provides a competitive advantage for cities looking to attract and retain residents. With these esteemed leaders, and our friends and partners across the country, we continue to prioritize play for all kids.”
To learn more about these cities, see the full list of the 241 communities named 2015 Playful City USA honorees, or to gather more information on the Playful City USA program, visit www.playfulcityusa.org. You can also take part in the conversation on #playability with these thought leaders on Twitter and Facebook.
City of Oak Ridge
The City of Oak Ridge was founded in 1942 and incorporated in 1959 then became a city manager-council form of government. The city is home to Melton Hill Lake, which is recognized as the home of the Oak Ridge rowing course. Melton Hill Lake offers 173 miles of shoreline for boating, fishing, and rowing. Melton Lake Greenway, one of Oak Ridge’s 12 beautiful greenways, runs along the western shore of Melton Hill Lake for people to enjoy scenic, outdoor activities. Oak Ridge is also home to 16 beautiful parks that are strategically located throughout the city to be within one-half mile of each residential area, and are open year-round from dawn until dusk. Oak Ridge also has an array of aquatic programs that take place at either the indoor or outdoor pool. For more information, visit www.oakridgetn.gov or orrecparks.oakridgetn.gov.
KaBOOM! is a national nonprofit dedicated to giving all kids—particularly those growing up in poverty in America—the childhood they deserve filled with balanced and active play, so they can thrive. Since 1996, KaBOOM! has collaborated with partners to build, open, or improve nearly 16,300 playgrounds, engaged more than one million volunteers and served 8.1 million kids. KaBOOM! creates great places to play, inspires communities to promote and support play, and works to drive the national discussion about the importance of play in fostering healthy and productive lives. To learn why #playmatters, visit kaboom.org or join the conversation at twitter.com/kaboom or facebook.com/kaboom.