San Francisco Receives “Playful City” Award for 4th Consecutive Year

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

San Francisco Receives “Playful City” Award for 4th Consecutive Year

August 18, 2010, San Francisco: San Francisco’s Neighborhood Parks Council (NPC) has been working with the Recreation and Park Department (RPD) since 1996 to ensure that all children in San Francisco have access to a safe and engaging play space in their own neighborhood. To date, NPC and RPD’s joint Playground Initiative has attracted millions of dollars for playground renovation projects citywide. Thanks to the Playground Initiative’s efforts, San Francisco was honored as a Playful City by KaBOOM for the fourth year in a row.

Playful City USA is a national recognition program honoring cities and towns determined to prioritize play and ensure that children are healthy by providing the time and space for play. KaBOOM!, a national non-profit dedicated to saving play, recognized San Francisco as one of the 118 Playful City USA 2010 communities. San Francisco has been honored every year since the beginning of the Playful City program.

The San Francisco Playground Report Card has also been recognized by KaBOOM as a

national best practice. Every two years, NPC and RPD survey public playgrounds for safety and maintenance. Results are published in a Playground Report Card. The Report Card helps determine which playgrounds are in the worst condition and in need of the most attention. Through advocacy and community volunteerism, the Playground Initiative works to upgrade or replace these needy playgrounds.

In 2008 and 2009, NPC and RPD engaged volunteers for a

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three-hour workday at a total of 24 playgrounds. Already this year, Playground Initiative volunteers have cleaned up nine playgrounds in need of extra maintenance. This work represents over 1,500 hours of community service dedicated to the Initiative’s mission of creating safer playgrounds for San Francisco’s youth.

“The Neighborhood Parks Council has been a great partner in our effort to provide clean, safe and fun parks and playgrounds to the public,” said Phil Ginsburg, general manager of the Recreation and Park Department. “In a time of diminishing resources we need the support of organizations and individuals who recognize the need and value of a world-class park system. We can’t do it alone.”

“We are honored to continue advocating for the needs of our youngest park users who cannot speak up for themselves,” said Meredith Thomas, Executive Director of the Neighborhood Parks Council. “Each time our volunteers clean broken glass out of a sand box or paint over splintering wood, we know that we are creating better places for our kids to play.”

Neighborhood Parks Council is currently looking for donors to contribute to its Playground Match Campaign. By donating to the match, the Mimi and Peter Haas Fund will generously match your gift dollar-for-dollar. Your contribution will help the Playground Initiative continue to improve local playgrounds.

About the Playground Initiative

The Playground Initiative is a partnership between the Neighborhood Parks Council (NPC) and the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department (RPD). The Initiative works towards ensuring that all children in San Francisco have access to a safe and engaging play space in their own neighborhood. By building strong partnerships with the community, elected officials and RPD, the Playground Initiative ensures that playgrounds are valued, protected, and improved citywide. For more information, visit www.sfnpc.org/playgrounds.

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