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Ankeny Receives National Playful City USA Designation

Post Date:05/18/2017 10:06 AM
For the 11th consecutive year, the City of Ankeny is being honored with the Playful City USA designation from KaBOOM!, a nationally recognized nonprofit dedicated to ensuring that all kids get a childhood filled with the balanced and active play needed to thrive.

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. The 2017 Playful City USA recognition includes 258 communities across the United States. Ankeny is one of three cities in Iowa, along with Davenport and North Liberty, to receive the award. In total, these communities feature more than 14,000 safe and engaging play spaces that serve more than 4 million kids.

“Ankeny is proud to be recognized for its commitment to play. We have something for everyone through our 41 parks and playgrounds, 70 miles of trails, state-of-the-art sports facilities, two aquatic centers, all-inclusive Miracle Park, open green spaces and a large variety of organized programs,” said Ankeny Parks & Recreation Director Nick Lenox.

As part of the City of Ankeny’s efforts to increase play, an annual All-City Play Day was established in 2008 to encourage children and adults to engage in a variety of outdoor activities. This year’s All-City Play Day will take place Wednesday, July 5, at Hawkeye Park and Wagner Park. Beginning at 5:30 p.m., the City will host a variety of free activities for people of all ages; including canoeing, dunk tank, basketball, water fights, tennis, arts and crafts, big wheel races, games and much more.

Ankeny has been a Playful City USA honoree since the program was established in 2007 and is considered one of 13 legacy cities and towns that have received the honor every year since it was first awarded.

“We are thrilled to recognize Ankeny 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 Playful City USA communities and to learn more about making play the easy choice for kids, visit www.kaboom.org/playfulcityusa. For more information, contact the Ankeny Parks & Recreation Department at 515-963-3570.