A national non-profit organization has designated Oro Valley with the "Playful City USA" title for the third consecutive year.
KaBOOM! and the Humana Foundation honored the town for advocating policies to increase kids' play opportunities, according to a news release.
"This designation is yet another acknowledgement of Oro Valley's commitment to youth, and it's one of the many reasons Bloomberg Businessweek recently named us the Best Place to Raise Kids in Arizona, " said Kristy Diaz-Trahan, director of Parks and Recreation. "I'd like to thank Mayor Hiremath, members of Town Council, and our residents for recognizing the value of safe, attractive and convenient places for children to play and explore."
Non-profit KaBOOM! honored 217 cities and towns with the 2013 title. Oro Valley was recognized for researching opportunities to work with homeowners associations for parks and public play spaces.
According to the organization, today's generation of children play less than any previous generation, and said The Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics reports that play is essential to the social, emotional, cognitive and physical well-being of children.
"Kids need to play actively every day at home, in school and in their communities, yet play is disappearing," said Darell Hammond, Founder and CEO of KaBOOM! "
Hammond says children spend nearly eight hours in front of a screen per day, even though one in five children live within walking distance of a park in their community.
"Playful City USA communities like Oro Valley are creating innovative programs and initiatives and deserve recognition because of their efforts to give kids the childhood they deserve and best prepare them for their future," Hammond said.
For more information on the KaBOOM! Playful City USA program, visit www.playfulcityusa.org.
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