Saluda named playful city third consecutive year

Published 10:00 pm Tuesday, June 10, 2014

KaBOOM!, in partnership with the Humana Foundation, announced 212 cities and towns across the United States as 2014 Playful City USA honorees. These communities are leaders in playability – the extent to which a city makes it easy for kids to get balanced and active play – and are making play part of the solution that can move the needle on countless urban challenges.
Saluda was honored as a 2014 Playful City USA designation for the third time for their efforts in increasing awareness of the need for play. Saluda’s Streets Alive! 2013 Play Day was a success thanks to the City of Saluda staff, Saluda School staff, Saluda Medical Center staff, and volunteers and residents of the Meadowview Drive area. Activity station materials, healthy snacks and drinks and play day t-shirts were purchased with a Free Community Events grant from the Polk County Community Foundation. The Play Day saw over 100 in attendance and proved that play is a priority in Saluda.
2014 will bring another Play Day later in the year as well as the completion of a much-anticipated master plan for Saluda’s McCreery Park. With the completion of a master plan, Saluda can proceed with efforts to apply for grants and begin working to phase in some much needed improvements to their downtown park, which will also include additional walking trails, new play equipment, picnic areas and benches and an amphitheater for community events.
What our community leaders have to say about this exciting news:
“Congratulations to Saluda for being named a Playful City for the third year in a row. I look forward to the McCreery park plan being completed,”  Saluda Mayor Fred Baisden said.
“I am delighted to live in the City of Saluda where the folks are supportive, full of energy and eager to play,” said Carolyn Ashburn, city commissioner
“With a Playful City designation for the third year, we are certainly becoming known for our active lifestyle. We look forward to our master plan for McCreery Park being completed and implemented so that we will have even more reasons to get outside and enjoy our beautiful mountain town,” Lynn Cass, city commissioner said.
“We are very fortunate in Saluda to have staff that truly care about Saluda and have the best interests of our residents in mind as well as a Board who is willing to support the efforts of Playful City USA. This designation is a great example of hard work paying off as we proceed with the presentation of our master park plan for McCreery Park and the launch of grant writing and fundraising for this exciting project,” Saluda City Administrator Erny Williams added.
The KaBOOM! Playful City USA program, sponsored by the Humana Foundation, honors cities, towns and communities across America that are taking bold steps to ensure that all children, especially the 16 million American kids living in poverty, have easy access to balanced and active play in their communities. Cities being recognized span every region of the country, and include Washington, D.C.; Chicago; Nashville; Austin; Providence; San Francisco; New York City; and 205 others.
To advance the national dialogue on playability, KaBOOM! and Saluda invites interest, expertise and voices from members of the Saluda community across the country to get involved (and get playful) in thinking about how play can create more family-friendly cities. Join the Twitter conversation and encourage action:
• Participate on Twitter (@kaboom) and provide your point of view and forward-looking insights on playability in cities using the hashtags #playability and #playmatters.
“With the tremendous support of our friends at Humana Foundation, we are thrilled to recognize all of these communities that are working to ensure all kids, particularly the 16 million that live in poverty, get the play they need to thrive,” says KaBOOM! CEO and Founder Darell Hammond.
Humana President and CEO Bruce Broussard added, “We’re excited about our journey with KaBOOM! and we appreciate the shared values that Humana, the Humana Foundation, and the KaBOOM! organization can rally around. Making it easy for families to play, be healthy and thrive together is a part of Humana’s dream, and it’s a commitment that all of us at Humana enjoy sharing with KaBOOM!.”
– article submitted
by Monica Pace

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