Lakewood wins ‘Playful City USA’ award for 6th year!
A new “pumpkin playground,” nature trail extension, and continued emphasis on family and youth sports and play helped Lakewood garner its 6th straight award as a Playful City USA. Lakewood was one of only 28 cities in California to receive the national designation on June 17 by the Humana Foundation and the non-profit organization KaBOOM!. The awards promote children’s recreation and the creation of more places for children to play.
Photo: Children pour into San Martin Park’s new pumpkin playground on opening day.
Lakewood’s Playful City USA strengths included:
The city’s commitment to maintaining and improving its parks.
The installation of a new pumpkin and castle-themed playground for children 5 -12 years old at San Martin Park.
The expansion of the Nature Trail with access from Boyar Park.
Going beyond the playground for play opportunities with between 75 and 125 youth classes offered seasonally.
Free After-School Activity Zones operated year-round at Lakewood parks, where children can play, do homework and take part in sports leagues, all in a supervised setting.
Lakewood Youth Sports program, in operation since 1957, that is organized by the city and uses volunteer coaches to provide play opportunities to thousands of youth.
Family Play Day, held every year in August at four Lakewood parks, with activities to get family members playing together outdoors. This year’s event is August 8.
Currently in the design phase, a new airplane-themed playground at Lakewood’s Del Valle Park is expected to open this fall.
“We love being named Playful City USA again,” said Mayor Jeff Wood. “Lakewood is a great place to live and work and be playful. At the heart of our city are safe places for children to play, including 12 parks and 19 playgrounds. Since the city’s incorporation in 1954, Lakewood hasn’t wavered from its commitment to recreation. Elementary schools and city parks are located within residential areas, encouraging short walks for education and play. And the parks in Lakewood bond residents to their neighborhood and create a true sense of community.”
Playful City USA this year recognized 241 localities nationwide and 28 in California.
“Playability is crucial to the success of our future communities, and we are proud of the work these cities and their leaders are doing to provide a better quality of life for all residents, and especially families,” says KaBOOM! President, James Siegal. “Play provides a competitive advantage for cities looking to attract and retain residents. With these esteemed leaders, and our friends and partners across the country, we continue to prioritize play for all kids.”
Click here for more information on the Playful City USA program.
For ideas on taking advantage of the opportunities for play in Lakewood, go to www.lakewoodcity.org/recreation or call Lakewood recreation staff at 562-866-9771, extension 2408.