2017-06-01 / Community News

Saco recognized for seventh time in a row

National nonprofit KaBOOM! is honoring Saco with a 2017 Playful City USA designation for the seventh time. Playful City USA honors cities and towns across the country for putting the needs of families first so children can learn, grow and develop life skills. The communities are transforming ordinary places into playful spaces and using play as a solution to the challenges facing their residents.

The 2017 Playful City USA recognition includes 258 communities from Richmond, Virginia to Richmond, California that make it as easy as possible for children to play. In total, these communities feature more than 14,000 safe and engaging play spaces that serve more than 4 million children.

The Saco Parks and Recreation Department is dedicated to providing an active play community for all residents with a variety of programs available for ages ranging from early childhood to youth, adults and seniors. Saco Parks and Recreation Department first connected with KaBOOM! in 2011 when working on the Let’s Play grant that helped fund the playground replacement at Young School. Recognizing the importance of this connection to KaBOOM!, Saco has maintained its Playful City Status for the past seven years, examining each year ways to expand play opportunities in our community. Saco is the only city in Maine to receive the designation.

Saco Parks and Recreation Department receives support from the city’s administration which contributes to the success of its programming.

“I can speak from experience about the value of this program,” said Mayor Ron Michaud. “I am a grandparent of two young ladies who live in a neighboring community. One of the first things I hear when they visit us is ‘When can we go to the playgrounds?’ It is always a high point of their visit and is helping them develop a healthy lifestyle. I am truly proud of the many recreational opportunities we provide to Saco’s children.”

“We are thrilled to recognize Saco 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.”

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