New Orleans Recognized As 2015 Playful City USA Community For 4th Consecutive Year

NEW ORLEANS – The City of New Orleans has been recognized as a Playful City USA by KaBOOM!, a national non-profit organization dedicated to saving play. This is the fourth consecutive year New Orleans has earned this recognition. The organization named New Orleans as a “Playful City USA” for making a commitment to play and physical activity by investing in programs and spaces that increase the quantity and quality of play in the community.

         “We are extremely proud to once again be recognized as a playful city for children and families,” said Mayor Mitch Landrieu.  “We will continue to provide quality, safe playgrounds for our youth so they can learn, grow and play. Our success would not be possible without the support of numerous valuable partners, such as KaBOOM.  We are creating a city of the ages for all New Orleanians, and will continue our around-the-clock efforts making New Orleans the city she should have always been.”

         New Orleans has continued to revitalize the park and playground system since Hurricane Katrina in 2005. As the City looks to celebrate ten years of resilience, efforts to continue playability growth remain a top priority. In 2011, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu doubled the City’s contribution to the New Orleans Recreation Development Commission (NORDC) budget and has also invested considerable FEMA reimbursement funds in recreation-related capital projects. Mayor Landrieu has consistently promoted recreation’s potential for improving life in city neighborhoods.

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         “We are excited for another designation as a playful city,” said Vic Ricard, CEO of NORDC. “We continue to build a robust package of programming, quality facilities and playgrounds for the residents of New Orleans— making aggressive strides in creating the best recreation department in the country.”

         Since 2011, NORDC has invested over $150 million in its expansive programs and facilities, which give residents access to safe spaces to play across the City. NORDC facilities serve an urban population of 384,320 and are community-building cornerstones of nearly every neighborhood in the city.  Facilities include recreation centers, playgrounds, parks, tennis centers, indoor and outdoor pools, and stadiums. Robust programming opportunities are free to all children and families across the city.

         The Mayor’s Fit NOLA initiative also supports playfulness in New Orleans. Through a partnership with NORDC, the Louisiana Public Health Institute (LPHI) and the City of New Orleans Health Department, Fit NOLA Parks seeks to increase use of community parks and access to healthy foods in underserved neighborhoods.  The program offers free fitness classes for people of all ages and skill levels at six Fit NOLA parks.

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         “We are proud to be named a 2015 Playful City USA by KaBOOM!,” said New Orleans Health Department Director Charlotte Parent. “This is a fitting designation as the Health Department works to protect, promote, and ensure the health of everyone as we live, learn, work, and play.  Our Fit NOLA initiative is about making fitness fun, so I am pleased the members of the Fit NOLA partnership can share in this recognition.”

          “Playability is crucial to the success of our future communities, and we are proud of the work these cities and leaders are doing to provide a better quality of life for all residents, and especially families,” says KaBOOM! President James Siegal. “Play provides a competitive advantage for cities looking to attract and retain residents. With these esteemed leaders and our friends and partners across the country, we continue to prioritize play for all kids.”

         For more information

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