For the second year in a row, the City of Flint has received a Playful City USA designation. The national recognition program honors cities and towns across the country for making their cities more playable.
KaBoom!, a national nonprofit dedicated to giving all kids access to balanced and active play, awards the designation to communities that have infrastructure that promotes physical activity and play in a safe environment; a proven track record of organizations and businesses working together to promote physical activity, and most importantly, show there is support from community leaders to increase opportunities for play and physical activity.
Crim Fitness Foundation staff gathered data and anecdotes from various organizations to complete the assessment and application on behalf of the City of Flint, citing efforts of numerous organizations throughout the city to increase playful activities such as bicycling, walking, running, dance and the use of trails, parks and playgrounds.
“We have a growing pedestrian and bicycle travel infrastructure that promotes healthy activity through alternative transportation; this includes the Genesee Valley Trail, which will be completed this summer season” said Flint Mayor Dayne Walling. “This network of pathways, in addition to our many parks, campuses and community open spaces, offers our residents and visitors fun, safe and energetic ways to enjoy our city.”
With obesity rates at hovering at 36 percent for adults in Genesee County, Designations like Playful City USA serve to highlight communities that are working hard to improve health conditions by providing safe, fun opportunities for people to be active and healthy.
Only one in four children in the United States gets 60 minutes of physical activity. Designations like these show that the leaders in the City of Flint are doing everything they can do to improve those numbers, said Sandy Selby, program director at the Crim Fitness Foundation.
“This designation shows that organizations and the city of Flint are really stepping up to create a place where people want to live, work and play. Improving your health should be a fun, playful thing that can be done in your own community,” said Selby.