National non-profit KaBOOM! is honoring Shinnston with a 2017 Playful City USA designation for the seventh 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 from Richmond, Virginia to Richmond, California 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.
The City of Shinnston is honored to have received the designation of Playful City USA for the 7th year in a row. One of only two cities in the state to have received the designation, Shinnston has become one of the most common names to appear on the list year after year. Sharing the honor only with Huntington in the state, Community Development Director AJ Hammond received several phone calls from much larger cities regarding the application process.
Hammond was excited to receive the honor for another year and gives credit to the community for its support in play related activities.
“Shinnston is known around the county and state for its incredible parks, trails and athletic facilities. It is clear that the community puts play at the forefront and that has not gone unnoticed. We are excited to continue to make improvements to the play related facilities and activities moving forward,” Hammond commented.
As cities are becoming hotbeds for innovation, communities across the country are creating inventive ways to attract and retain residents. Playful City USA honorees are taking bold action to ensure kids have great places to play – all with the ultimate goal of making play the easy choice for all kids, no matter where they live. In addition to the playground down the street, Playful City USA communities are turning grocery stores, vacant lots, crosswalks and sidewalks into opportunities for play.
“We are thrilled to recognize Shinnston for putting kids first,” said KaBOOM! CEO James Siegal. “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 kaboom.org/playfulcityusa. You can also take part in the conversation with leaders across the country using #PLAYceforkids on Twitter and Facebook.