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City again among nation’s most ‘playful’

The City of Yuma’s commitment to its parks and programs was again recognized by the nonprofit agency KaBOOM!, which bestowed Yuma with it Playful City USA award for the ninth time.

Mayor Doug Nicholls will present the certificate of recognition to the residents of Yuma at the annual Come Out and Play Day – Day for Kids, which this year will be held 3 to 7 p.m. Saturday, June 3, at Valley Aquatic Center, 4381 W. 18th St., and adjacent Sunrise Optimist Park.

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, according to KaBOOM!. Playful City communities are transforming ordinary places into playful spaces and using play as a solution to the challenges facing their residents.

“We put children and play in the forefront of everything we do,” noted Director of Parks and Recreation Debbie Wendt. “We are honored that KaBOOM! has recognized our efforts and chosen us to be a part of group of select communities all across the nation that do the same.

“We are thrilled to recognize Yuma, Arizona 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.”

The 2017 Playful City USA recognition includes 258 communities that make 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.

Yuma Parks and Recreation provides opportunities for learning and life experiences that enhance the physical, social, cultural, and environmental well-being of the community. Parks and Rec serves a diverse cross-section of citizens and visitors through the provision of programs, services, and facilities that encourage the development of positive, lasting value systems, and self-esteem. Their Mission: Enriching lives through quality programs, experiences, and facilities that preserve the past, provide for the present, plan for the future, and promote the spirit of fun.

“We hope that families join us at Come Out and Play Day – Day for Kids at the Valley Aquatic Center and Sunrise Optimist Park on June 3 as we play together and celebrate being a Playful City USA,” Wendt said.