Kenmore recognized as Playful City USA community

The City of Kenmore is being honored with a 2017 Playful City USA designation for the eighth year in a row.

Celebrating its 11th anniversary, the national recognition program through KaBOOM! — a nonprofit dedicated to giving all kids, particularly those growing up in poverty in America, a balanced childhood filled with active play — honors cities and towns across the country for making their cities more playable.

According to a city press release, Kenmore is one of four cities in Washington — along with Auburn, Mercer Island and Mountlake Terrace — to receive this recognition this year.

This year’s Playful City USA recognition includes 258 communities from around the country 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, the release states.

“This designation recognizes the city’s continuing commitment to providing a safe and fun environment for people to live a healthy and active lifestyle,” Kenmore Mayor David Baker said in the release. “Kenmore has been working hard to provide active programming, create places of play and improve ways of getting around town. We measure our success in seeing happy community members and families enjoying the great outdoors in our great city.”

Recently, voters passed the Walkways and Waterways Improvements bond measure, a pedestrian and bicycle safety and waterfront park improvement bond measure that will pay for new sidewalks and buffered bike lanes on Juanita Drive and 68th Avenue Northeast and waterfront access improvements and natural open space restoration at Log Boom, Rhododendron and Squire’s Landing parks.

Kenmore also hosts several organized events including the annual Kenmore Play Day, a day dedicated to the kids in the community to enjoy the outdoors. The event features play stations, education booths, fitness stations, crafts and more. Last year, Kenmore also partnered with Skyhawks and Skate Like a Girl to host sports camps designed for any skill level, which has become very popular among Kenmore residents, the release states.

The release continues, stating that now more than ever, families want homes that are close to safe streets to walk, trails to ride and places to play. There is growing momentum to make cities more playable and family friendly as more people seek active and environmentally conscious lifestyles.

“We are thrilled to recognize Kenmore for putting kids first,” said KaBOOM! CEO James Siegal in the release. “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.”