SAN FRANCISCO – The City of San Francisco is being honored with a 2016 Playful City USA designation. The national recognition program honors cities and towns across the country for making their cities more playable. San Francisco, with hundreds of playgrounds and play areas (180 of which are run by SF Rec & Park), adapts to its surrounding communities and is installing new innovative playground models to encourage active play and facilitate healthy and successful child development. This is the tenth consecutive time the City has received this recognition.
“San Francisco is making record investments to ensure our children and families have world-class playgrounds, open spaces and programs that help them grow and learn while having fun,” said Mayor Edwin M. Lee. “We will continue to put our children and families first and provide clean and safe places for families to play.“
San Francisco is well-regarded for its programming and connecting children to nature. SF Rec & Park offers classes that include shark fishing, kayaking and other boating, SCUBA open water, geocache adventures, rock climbing, archery, hiking and camping, surfing, and BMX biking. Since last year’s designation as a playful city, SF Rec & Park reopened Joe DiMaggio and Larsen Playgrounds (both made possible through the Clean & Safe Neighborhood Parks Bonds) in addition to breaking ground on South Park and a new park at 17th & Folsom. SF Rec & Park’s newest playground is Gilman Playground, which will open June 3 after a $1.8 million renovation.
“Playing is at the core of our work. We make every effort to ensure we have plentiful outdoor spaces for our city’s children and that the playgrounds are creative, fun, and safe.” said SF Rec & Park General Manager Phil Ginsburg. “We’re honored to receive this recognition from KaBOOM! for the 10th time.”
“We are thrilled to recognize these communities that have invested their time and efforts to put kids first,” said KaBOOM! CEO James Siegal. “Balanced and active play is crucial to the well-being of kids and the communities that they thrive in. By integrating play into cities, the leaders of Playful Cities USA are working to attract and retain the thousands of families that want homes in close proximity to safe places to play.”
To learn more about these cities, see the full list of the 257 communities named 2016 Playful City USA honorees, or to gather more information on the Playful City USA program, visit www.playfulcityusa.org.
KaBOOM! is the national non-profit 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.