Arlington Earns 2012 “Playful City USA” Designation
By Office of Communication
Posted on May 04, 2012, May 04, 2012

Once again, Arlington proves it really knows how to play. For the fifth straight year, national non-profit KaBOOM! has designated Arlington as one of its Playful City USA communities for its efforts to increase play opportunities for children and its outstanding dedication to play. "We are honored to have been recognized," said Arlington Parks and Recreation Director Pete Jamieson. "We continually look for new ways to provide quality play opportunities for our citizens through programs such as Naturally Fun Neighborhoods."

Play is important to a child"s development in every way, but studies show today"s children spend less time playing outside than any previous generation, in part because only 1-in-5 live within walking distance of a park or playground. That means children today are actually experiencing what is called a 'play deficit" and it"s having profound consequences physically, socially and academically. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, play is critical to healthy brain development. It allows children to use their creativity while simultaneously developing imagination, dexterity and physical, cognitive and emotional strength.

Arlington is among 213 cities and towns to earn recognition by KaBOOM! Presented by The Humana Foundation, Playful City USA is a national program advocating for local policies that increase play opportunities for children and is a key platform in combating the play deficit.

KaBOOM! selected Arlington for its commitment to finding unique ways of encouraging play, such as through Arlington"s Naturally Fun Trailer, a mobile playground, which brings playful opportunities to 10 neighborhoods each year. This is used in conjunction with Naturally Fun Neighborhoods, a series of free outdoor events focused on bringing individual neighborhoods and residents together in a family-friendly and healthy environment.

"We will continue our commitment to play, said Jamieson, "and we thank KaBOOM! for their support of children, playgrounds and free play."

KaBOOM! created Playful City USA in 2007 to help local governments address the play deficit and it is through mayors, city council members, parks and recreation departments, school districts and community leaders that the program succeeds in benefitting children.

For more information about the KaBOOM! Playful City USA program, visit

Playful City USA

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