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What happens in Apopka, plays in Apopka


Apopka named 2017 Playful City Community

From the City of Apopka

The national non-profit KaBOOM! is honoring the City of Apopka with a 2017 Playful City USA designation for the second consecutive year.

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. These communities are transforming ordinary places into playful spaces and using play as a solution to the challenges facing their residents.

The 2017 Playful City USA recognition includes 258 communities from Richmond, Va., to Richmond, Calif., which make it as easy as possible for kids to play. In total, these communities feature more than 14,000 safe and engaging play spaces that serve more than 4 million kids.

Play is an important part of life in Apopka – from organized sports tournaments and leagues to outdoor recreation, special events, casual parks, and playgrounds. The city will host a grand opening at 4:30 p.m. May 26 for the new Lake Avenue playground, which recently was constructed in partnership with KaBOOM!, Foresters Financial, the Apopka Rotary, the Big Potato Foundation and dozens of local volunteers.

Apopka plans to build a new splash pad at Kit Land Nelson Park. The community is invited to learn about the project at two open houses scheduled for 6:30 p.m. May 22 and 24 at the Apopka Community Center, 519 S. Central Ave.

The city also will build a new community center and recreation area at Alonzo Williams Park, 515 South Hawthorne Ave., with more than $750,000 in federal and state grants.

“The City of Apopka is honored to be recognized as a 2017 Playful City,” said Apopka Mayor Joe Kilsheimer. “Public recreation is essential to the quality of life we enjoy in Apopka. We encourage playful, healthy activities for all ages.”

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 natural choice for all children, 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 Apopka 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 natural choice for kids, visit kaboom.org/playfulcityusa. You can also take part in the conversation with leaders across the country using #PLAYceforkids on Twitter and Facebook.

KaBOOM! is the national non-profit dedicated to giving all kids—particularly those growing up in poverty in America—the childhood they deserve filled with balanced and active play so that they can thrive. Since 1996, KaBOOM! has collaborated with partners to build, open or improve nearly 16,700 playgrounds, engaged more than one million volunteers and served 8.5 million kids. KaBOOM! creates great places to play, inspires communities to promote and support play and works to drive the national discussion about the importance of play in fostering healthy and productive lives. To learn why #playmatters and why cities are embracing #playability: visit kaboom.org or join the conversation attwitter.com/kaboom or facebook.com/kaboom.

City of Apopka, Kaboom