Monday, September 7, 2009


Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard today celebrated the recognition of the City of Indianapolis being named a 2009 Playful City USA community by KaBOOM!, a national nonprofit dedicated to bringing play back into children’s lives.

Indianapolis is one of 93 communities across 33 states to be recognized for affirming its commitment to play and creating an articulated action plan for play.

“The City of Indianapolis recognizes the importance of playtime in the daily lives of our children, and we are committed to incorporating activities that lead to children who are fitter, healthier and perform better in school,” said Mayor Ballard. “This honor highlights our efforts to make play spaces available to all children and affirms our efforts to provide quality recreation opportunities that are accessible to all Marion County residents.”

Award criteria included demonstrating creative commitments to increase the quantity and quality of play and playgrounds while improving access to existing play opportunities. A Play Committee formed earlier this year designed an annual action plan for play, conducted a playspace audit, identified key play-related metrics and proclaimed an annual “Play Day.”

Members of this committee are Indy Parks School and Family Programs Administrator Leslie Power; United Way of Central Indianapolis/Marion County Success by 6 Director Ted Maple; Ivy Tech Community College – Central Indiana Play and Learn Program Chairperson and Associate Professor Ann Aull; Fit City Executive Director Eleather Baker; The Project School Principal Tarrance Banks and Sullivan Munse Museum Director Kay Cunningham.

“The unique initiatives developed by these organizations and others across Marion County signify our priority as a community to share creative ideas, concepts and programs with the goal of increasing play opportunities for children,” said Indy Parks Director Stuart Lowry.

The citywide Indy Play Celebration will be held on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2009. A Play Day Program Guide consisting of all playful activities and events planned for that date will be available, and a proclamation will be read at 11 a.m. at Perry Park on the City’s Southside. The Indy Play Celebration takes place within KaBOOM!’s National Week in Play Sept. 19-Sept. 28, which makes Indianapolis eligible to receive a free playground. Indianapolis will continue to incorporate play into its programs and encourage play year round. Organizations interested in participating in the Indy Play Celebration should contact Indy Parks Marketing Coordinator Jenny Evans at or (317) 327-7030.

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