Yes, we really like to get out and play here on the island! For the 4th year in a row, the city of Mercer Island has been included in the “Playful City USA” list put out by KaBoom!. Playful City USA is a national recognition program which honors cities that make outdoor play for local children a priority. Only 151 cities, in 38 states and 1 territory, earned the designation of being Playful City in 2011.
What were some of the city attributes which helped Mercer Island be chosen as a Playful City 4 times? Besides being home to 475 acres of parks and open space, 50+ miles of marked hiking trails, 30 developed and semi-developed parks, and 11 playgrounds, Mercer Island’s unique play programs Adventure Park and the traveling Fun Mobile helped KaBoom! decide to include the island on the Playful City USA 2011 list. Having multiple spaces to play, along with planned recreation programs centered around play, encourages children on the island to get outside and have fun.
From the KaBoom! mission statement:
Our mission is to create great playspaces through the participation and leadership of communities. Ultimately, we envision a place to play within walking distance of every child in America.
The American Academy of Pediatrics states that play is vital a child’s healthy brain development. Play helps children develop cognitive areas like their imagination and emotions, along with physical attributes like dexterity and strength. Unfortunately, today’s children do not get enough to spend time playing, especially outside. This deficit of playtime is partially contributed to the lack of outdoor play spaces within walking distance. Besides recognizing cities which provide ample places and opportunities for children to get outside and play, KaBoom! helps community organizations design and build play structures for local children. This helps communities provide more outdoor play spaces within walking distance.
Windermere Foundation is proud to be working with KaBoom! to design a playground in Seattle’s Bataan Park. On Friday, September 23rd, volunteers from 40 Windermere offices, the High Point Neighborhood and Neighborhood House, will come together to install a beautiful new play structure, park benches and game tables. What an honor to be a part of helping bring play places within walking distance to children in the Puget Sound area, which gives real-time meaning to Windermere Foundation’s mission of Building Better Communities, One Home Sale at a Time.