THE COLONY, Texas — The City of The Colony is being honored with a Playful City USA designation for the seventh-straight time. 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.
The 2017 Playful City USA recognition includes 258 communities from Richmond, Va., to Richmond, Calif., that make it as easy as possible for kids to play. In total, these communities feature more than 14,000 safe and engaging playspaces that serve more than 4 million kids.
Mayor Joe McCourry welcomed news of the city’s continuing status as a Playful City USA.
“No matter how much we grow, The Colony strives to remain a family friendly community,” he said. “Having adequate and varied playspaces for children brings families together. Earning recognition as a Playful City USA for yet another year affirms our efforts to provide the community with the kinds of amenities and activities that promote playability in The Colony. For that, we couldn’t be more proud.”
In the past year, the city has taken several significant steps to increase playability in the community. For starters, long-planned improvements to The Colony Skatepark continued with the selection of a design firm for the park’s redevelopment. Once completed, the new, state-of-the-art skatepark will provide a safe, designated place for wheeled-sport enthusiasts (skateboarders, BMX bike riders, inline skaters, scooter riders, etc.) to develop their skills and enjoy the company of their peers. Ongoing input from residents has also been solicited to help ensure the new facility reflects all the needs of the community.
Efforts to make the community more bike-friendly have also been taken this past year. As growthdriven roadwork takes place throughout the city, dedicated bike lanes are being added to provide safer access for bikers – including 3 miles of bike lanes on Main Street. The City Council also recently approved an updated Trail and Bike Master Plan. All of these initiatives combined to help the city earn Honorable Mention recognition in the League of American Cyclists’ Bicycle Friendly Community program.
Lastly, the city has continued to integrate outdoor learning into several special events in order to get the community outside enjoying nature and learning about camping, fishing, archery, geocaching, etc. In 2016, The Colony began partnering with Texas Outdoor Family to provide a camping experience for those that do not have the means to do so. With all equipment provided, families enjoyed a weekend of learning how to kayak, geocache, fish, build a campfire and learn about nature.
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 easy choice for all kids, no matter where they live.
“We are thrilled to recognize the City of The Colony 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 easy 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 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 at www.twitter.com/kaboom or www.facebook.com/kaboom.