Hamilton Recognized Again As “Playful City USA” Community; Only New Jersey Town to Earn Honor in 2014
Hamilton Township has once again earned a distinction that no other city or town across New Jersey can boast of from a national, non-profit organization dedicated to giving children opportunities to play.
Mayor Kelly Yaede has announced that the national, non-profit organization, KaBoom!, has named Hamilton Township a 2014 “Playful City USA” Community through its Playful City USA program.
This is the second, consecutive year that Hamilton Township was the only New Jersey town to receive the honor, as well as the town’s sixth time for earning the recognition. Hamilton joins 212 other communities across the nation to receive the honor this year.
“The fact that for the past two, consecutive years, Hamilton Township has remained the only New Jersey town recognized by this national program speaks volumes about our community’s continued reinvestment in our parks, playgrounds and recreational areas,” said Hamilton Township Mayor Kelly Yaede. “Our wonderful parks and playgrounds continue to be a special reason why Hamilton is a great community for our children and to raise a family.”
The “Playful City USA” program is a national recognition program, sponsored by the Humana Foundation, which honors cities and towns that “make play a priority” through policy initiatives, infrastructure investments and innovative programming. The program “strives to recognize communities that demonstrate a commitment to ensuring all kids get the balance of active play they need to thrive.”
According to its website, the Playful City USA program’s criteria looks for communities that:
- Demonstrate significant collaboration among nonprofit partners, foundations, municipal agencies, the business community, and local civic groups
- Exhibit Mayoral or local governmental leadership on the cause of play
- Express the ability and commitment to use data to address inequality through infrastructure investment, policy change and programming as demonstrated in their action plans
In his recent letter notifying Hamilton Township of its recognition, KaBoom!, CEO and Founder Darell Hammond wrote, “Hamilton has shown itself to be at the vanguard of a growing group of communities working to ensure that kids get the balanced and active play they need to thrive by making play a priority in their city or town.”
By receiving the “Playful City USA” designation, Hamilton Township is now eligible to apply for grants and playground building opportunities offered by KaBOOM! that support targeted policies, programs, and infrastructure, and will enjoy increased stature and competitive advantages for other state and national grant opportunities.