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Hopkinsville Earns Second Playful City USA Honor

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The Division of Parks and Recreation announced today that the City of Hopkinsville is being honored for the second straight year as a Playful City USA community by KaBOOM!  The news was shared at this morning’s press conference at the Hopkinsville Skatepark to coincide with timing of the national release of winning cities.  The skatepark location was appropriate for the announcement since the popular new recreation asset is a strong demonstration of the community’s commitment to playability and play spaces. Now in its 11th year, Playful City USA is the national recognition program that celebrates cities and towns across the country for making their cities more playable.

     Hopkinsville is one of 258 U.S. communities and one of only 10 Kentucky communities recognized in 2017 as a Playful City USA by KaBOOM!  Hopkinsville joins Owensboro, Murray, Henderson, Pikeville, Simpsonville, Tompkinsville, Williamstown, Lexington, and Beaver Dam as Kentucky communities recognized with the Playful City USA designation this year.  Lexington is the only new city on this year’s list.

     “We are honored and excited to once again be designated a Playful City USA community.  With our commitment to parks and recreation through the WINS initiative, we are pleased to offer even more opportunities for our residents to play and live a happier, healthier life,” Hopkinsville Mayor Carter Hendricks said.

     “While Hopkinsville has so many existing and developing examples of playability support, our application highlighted several examples of local programs combating toxic stress, behavioral barriers to play, and 21st century skills and education.  Our application focused on efforts, goals and results from Cookout With a Cop, Boys and Girls Club, Upward Basketball and the Hopkinsville-Christian County WINS initiative,” said Tab Brockman, Parks and Recreation Superintendent.  “We are pleased the judges saw the value and impact our local programs demonstrate and recognized how our community moves forward together weaving playability into creative solutions to today’s social challenges.”

     While the award goes to the City of Hopkinsville, both city and county government work closely for community improvements, as evidenced by the Hopkinsville-Christian Co. WINS program highlighted in the local Playful City USA award application.

     “Our county and city always work together to improve the quality of life for children and families.  The WINS program is another big example of city-county collaboration for our community and kids,” said Christian County Judge Executive, Steve Tribble.  “Earning the Playful City USA designation for the second straight year is wonderful affirmation of our efforts.  This award makes us more attractive to newcomers, business and industry.”

     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 Hopkinsville 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.”

     To see the full list of 2017 Playful City USA communities and to learn more about making play the easy choice for kids, visit www.kaboom.org/playfulcityusa.  You can also take part in the conversations with leaders across the country using #PLAYceforkids or Twitter and Facebook.