The City of Long Beach announced Wednesday that it was named a 2015 Playful City USA, a national designation that honors cities and towns for creating more playable and kid-friendly communities. KaBOOM!, a national non-profit organization that assists communities with building playgrounds, sponsors the designation along with the Humana Foundation.
"I'm proud that Long Beach has earned this recognition, and I want to thank our outstanding Parks, Recreation and Marine Department for all their hard work and leadership," said Mayor Robert Garcia in a statement. "We are going to continue to make our city more playable every year, with new parks and playgrounds, safe streets, skate parks and an abundance of recreational opportunities."
Long Beach supports #playability with major infrastructure investments, including the development of 48.2 acres of new parkland since 2008 in underserved neighborhoods.
Free youth sports leagues, subsidized day camps, five teen centers near high schools, and after school recreation programs at 27 parks and eight schools are only a portion of the wide array of play opportunities for the city’s youth. The City of Long Beach also collaborates with partners such as Long Beach Unified School District and Long Beach Community Action Partnership to maximize these resources for play programs.
"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," said KaBOOM! President James Siegal in a statement.
He said play provides an 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,” he concluded.