FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
SANFORD NAMED ONE OF THE NATION’S
‘PLAYFUL CITY USA’ COMMUNITIES
SANFORD – Sanford received another distinction earlier this month, when the city was named one of the nation’s 93 “Playful City USA” communities by KaBOOM!, a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing play opportunities for children.
In their announcement, KaBOOM! commended Sanford for providing “quantity, quality and access” to playspaces and recreational programs designed to improve childhood wellness, public safety and the overall quality of life – especially in a down economy.
The nonprofit based in Washington noted the city’s network of “pocket parks,” which provide play areas throughout city neighborhoods, as well as recreational initiatives at low-income housing sites and a neighborhood park plan being developed for East Sanford that will contribute more broadly to community development.
Sanford is no stranger to accolades. The Research Triangle Region community is regularly ranked among the top 50 small cities across the United States in economic strength by POLICOM, an independent research firm, having landed in the 40th spot this year. It also has appeared recently in Site Selection magazine’s list of America’s top small towns for business.
But the “Playful City USA” designation shows that quality of life in Sanford matters as much as raw economic progress.
“Sanford is a great place to work and own a business, but truly great communities reach beyond economic development alone,” said Sanford city manager Hal Hegwer. “We recognize how important these amenities are for the quality of life, and everyone in this community is making a real effort to bring accessible parks and playspaces to all residents, no matter where in our area they may live.”
Darell Hammond, cofounder and CEO of KaBoom!, believes the annual “Playful City USA” listings are important because children everywhere are hurt when communities don’t provide easily-accessible places to play safely.
“Sanford took a stand,” he said, “and determined that the future of their community – their children – deserve a commitment to the cause of play.”
The Lee County Economic Development Corp. is a nonprofit organization established to attract industry, enhance job opportunities and promote sound planning across Lee County. Funding is provided by the county, as well as the City of Sanford and Town of Broadway, the county’s two municipalities.
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Bob Heuts, Director
Jane Haber, Administrative Assistant
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