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Auburn named Playful City USA for sixth consecutive year

More than 200 volunteers from Delta Air Lines, the City of Auburn, the Auburn Food Bank, organizers from KaBOOM! and community residents pulled up their sleeves and went to work to build a new playground at Brannan Park last fall.  - Rachel Ciampi/Auburn Reporter
More than 200 volunteers from Delta Air Lines, the City of Auburn, the Auburn Food Bank, organizers from KaBOOM! and community residents pulled up their sleeves and went to work to build a new playground at Brannan Park last fall.
— image credit: Rachel Ciampi/Auburn Reporter

For the Reporter

Auburn has been designated as a Playful City USA for the sixth consecutive year, one of only four cities in the state to earn the designation.

KaBOOM! – in partnership with the Humana Foundation, announced 212 cities and towns throughout the United States as 2014 Playful City USA honorees. These communities are leaders in playability – the extent to which a city makes it easy for kids to get balanced and active play – and are making play part of the solution that can move the needle on countless urban challenges.

KaBOOM! selected Auburn for its outstanding dedication to play. Auburn recently completed a volunteer-built playground at Indian Tom Park, added new soft surfacing at Rotary Spray Playground, and will coordinate the fourth year of a free summer drop-in play program at Olympic Middle School.

"We plan to continue to work with the community to create opportunities and spaces for play to ensure that Auburn remains 'More Fun Than You Imagined,'" said Daryl Faber, Auburn Parks, Arts & Recreation director.

As part of the KaBOOM! Playful City USA program, the City has been the recipient of a variety of grants – including a $15,000 grant to install outdoor fitness equipment at Game Farm Park; a $50,000 grant to build the new playground at Brannan Park in 2013; a $20,000 grant to help build the new playground at Lea Hill Park in 2013; and a $20,000 to help fund the playground at Game Farm Park in 2011.

The KaBOOM! Playful City USA program, sponsored by the Humana Foundation, honors cities, towns and communities across America that are taking bold steps to ensure that all children have easy access to balanced and active play in their communities. Cities being recognized span every region of the country, and include Auburn; Washington, D.C.; Chicago; Nashville, Tenn.; Austin, Texas; Providence, R.I.; San Francisco; and New York City.

"With the tremendous support of our friends at Humana Foundation, we are thrilled to recognize all of these communities that are working to ensure all kids, particularly the 16 million that live in poverty, get the play they need to thrive," says KaBOOM! CEO and Founder Darell Hammond.

To learn more, visit www.playfulcityusa.org.

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