National non-profit KaBOOM! is honoring Gilbert, Arizona with a 2017 Playful City USA designation for the 11th year in a row. 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 makes it as easy as possible for kids to play. In total, these communities feature more than 14,000 safe and engaging play spaces that serve more than 4 million kids.
Gilbert currently offers three community centers, two public libraries, four public pools, nearly 40 miles of trail system, and more than 600 acres of developed parkland. Gilbert Parks and Recreation is constantly working to provide new and innovative programs and events while also maintaining quality parks and facilities. In fact, Gilbert is excited to increase the community’s park offerings with the development of the Gilbert Regional Park and Rittenhouse Basin.
“Gilbert is a fun and playful place to live and I’m proud that we’re a founding Playful City USA community,” said Gilbert Mayor Jenn Daniels. “Our community offers endless opportunities for play from our beautiful parks and trails to our many recreation programs. And there’s more to come as we continue to build out Gilbert’s parks and trails systems.”
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.
“We are thrilled to recognize Gilbert 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.”