National non-profit KaBOOM! is honoring Owensboro as a Playful City USA community for the second 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 make it as easy as possible for kids to play. In total, these communities feature more than 14,000 safe and engaging playspaces that serve more than 4 million kids.

The City of Owensboro’s commitment to quality of life initiatives and access to green space and play through maintaining a solid infrastructure of play opportunities that include multi-purpose fields; sports courts and sports fields; walking, biking, hiking and running trails; recreational facilities and playgrounds has earned our community this recognition and honor. The recognition highlights our municipal leadership on the cause of play and the value of play for the health and wellness of our children, all residents and our economy.

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. In addition to the playground down the street, Playful City USA communities are turning grocery stores, vacant lots, crosswalks and sidewalks into opportunities for play.

“We are thrilled to recognize Owensboro 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.”