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Examiner
  • Independence named as a "Playful City USA"

  • Independence is one of only 217 cities and towns in the United States to earn recognition from national non-profit KaBOOM! as a 2013 Playful City USA community for its efforts to give children ample opportunities for play. KaBOOM selected Independence for its “outstanding dedication to play” due in large part t...
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  • Independence is one of only 217 cities and towns in the United States to earn recognition from national non-profit KaBOOM! as a 2013 Playful City USA community for its efforts to give children ample opportunities for play. KaBOOM selected Independence for its “outstanding dedication to play” due in large part to work being done through the Building a Healthier Independence initiative administered by the Independence Health Department.
    Sponsored by the Humana Foundation, Playful City USA is a national program from KaBOOM! that celebrates and promotes local policies that increase play opportunities for children and is a key platform in combating the lack of play among children. Independence and Ferguson, Mo. are the only two Missouri cities to be selected.
    Health Director Larry Jones said in 2012, Independence focused on enhancing infrastructure for walking and biking throughout the community and installing safety measures such as emergency blue light phones along the Little Blue Trace Trail, 43 new pedestrian crosswalks and trail markers. Last year, the city also released a smart phone app (Get Healthy, Independence!) for locating parks and trails in the city and held more than 60 community events to promote park usage.
    The city of Independence has more than 800 acres of park land in more than 40 parks throughout the community. The park system features baseball fields, soccer fields, tennis courts, basketball courts, spray grounds and a water park.
    Playful City USA communities are now eligible for $15,000, $20,000 and $30,000 grants via Let’s Play, a community partnership led by Dr. Pepper Snapple Group to get kids and families active nationwide.
    For more information on the KaBOOM! Playful City USA program, including Let’s Play grants and applications for 2014, visit www.playfulcityusa.org or contact Mike Vietti, KaBOOM!, mvietti@kaboom.org, 785-320-2137 or 352-278-0522.
     
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