NEW ORLEANS, LA—Today, Mayor Mitch Landrieu announced that the City of New Orleans has been recognized by KaBOOM!, the national non-profit organization dedicated to saving play, as a “Playful City USA” honoree for making a commitment to play and physical activity by developing unique local action plans to increase the quantity and quality of play in the community.
“I am committed to making our city more play friendly,” said Mayor Mitch Landrieu. “The City is working aggressively on a number of initiatives that will provide healthier choices and opportunities for New Orleanians of all ages and these initiatives include building the best play and recreation programs possible.”
Presented by The Humana Foundation and KaBOOM!, Playful City USA is a national program advocating for local policies that increase play opportunities for children. KaBOOM!, the national non-profit organization dedicated to increasing play among kids, created Playful City USA in 2007 to help local governments address the “play deficit.”
KaBOOM! selected New Orleans for its outstanding dedication to play. The City continues to revitalize the park and playground system since Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Through Fight the Blight days and volunteer efforts by numerous civic and non-profit organizations, New Orleans has been successful in improving the playground environment and aesthetics of its play spaces. The City of New Orleans partners with KaBOOM! and local organizations and corporations to build and maintain play spaces for the community. Since Hurricane Katrina, 66 of these play spaces have been built in New Orleans.
Over 210 Playful City USA honorees from 41 states are now eligible to apply for grants that range from $15,000 to $30,000.
“Every child in New Orleans deserves access to fun and safe places to play. We know that play results in significant benefits for a child’s physical, social, and intellectual development,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Karen DeSalvo. “ With great partners in the community, such as KaBoom!, New Orleans is making strides to provide more children and families with opportunities to play outside. We are thankful for this recognition and are committed to ensuring that all New Orleanians can reap the benefits of being active and playing. Together we can create safe and dynamic play spaces for everyone.”
“We are excited about New Orleans’ designation as a Playful City,” said Vic Richard, Director of New Orleans Recreation Development Commission. “As a city we have stressed the importance of providing opportunities for our children to be active and will continue to build and enhance play spaces and offer extensive programming to increase play opportunities.”