Playful City USA, sponsored by the Humana Foundation, is a national recognition program honoring cities and towns investing in children through play. Recognized Cities and Towns make a commitment to play by developing tailored local action plans that increase access to play in their community. As a result, some of the most innovative programs and policies are developed and implemented in Playful City USA communities.
Playful City USA designees map local play spaces, complete a needs assessment, and develop and action plan that identifies a minimum of three policies, programs, or initiatives aimed at increasing access to play at school, in neighborhoods, and through community engagement.
“Fountain Hills continues to be an active and playful community that encourages a healthy lifestyle,” says Mayor Linda Kavanaugh. Fountain Hills parks are used jointly by the Fountain Hills Unified School District and the Town of Fountain Hills serving as a base for year-round outdoor recreation ranging from Pickle Ball to Baseball, and all kinds of “Ball” games in between. The community center offers daily exercise classes ranging from peer led stretching and motion classes to Tai Chi, Yoga, and a variety of dancing opportunities. More than 50 outdoor recreation opportunities are organized and administered by the Town’s award-winning Parks and Recreation Department.
But our hundreds of miles of hiking and biking trails distinguish the Fountain Hills area from its neighbors. McDowell Mountain Park is home to 100’s of miles of trails for hiking and mountain biking, and hosts dozens of national and international bicycle and running competitions each year. The major streets in Fountain Hills have more than 50 miles of designated bike lanes, attracting hundreds of bicycle enthusiasts to the area each week. The area is a significant location for running, bicycle and “Iron Man” type competitions.
“Children spend nearly eight hours a day in front of a screen,” says Darell Hammond, CEO and Founder of KaBOOM. “Playful City USA communities like Fountain Hills are creating innovative programs and initiatives and deserve recognition for their efforts.”
A full listing of classes and competitive sports leagues are available at: http://www.fh.az.gov/recreation-programs.as