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Richmond Hill named 2014 Playful City
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A grant given by KaBOOM! to the City of Richmond Hill provided the needed funds to add mulch to the playground at J.F. Gregory Park. Richmond Hill was named Playful City USA for 2014, which means more opportunities for grants to improve city parks. - photo by Photo by Tiffany Stroud

For the fifth year in a row, the city of Richmond Hill is being recognized for its initiatives in creating a community that allows children to get balanced and active play in a safe environment.  Richmond Hill has been named a 2014 Playful City USA honoree by KaBOOM! and the Humana Foundation.
City officials are proud of the accomplishments made in providing a fun and safe atmosphere for community children.
“In providing the best possible services to this community, the City of Richmond Hill recognizes the need for recreational parks and activities for children, and we are honored to have been selected as a Playful City designee for our efforts,” said Jennifer Sowell, zoning administrator for Richmond Hill.
“We try to provide outdoor activities for children during events to make them more family-friendly and provide something for everyone,” she continued. “We are committed to serving our citizens and helping to offer a better quality of life in Richmond Hill.”
Being recognized as a Playful City has allowed the city to apply for and receive grants that help improve the conditions of area parks to make them safer and more enjoyable for children and families. According to Sowell the city has received two grants from KaBOOM! in the last year – a maintenance grant and surface grant.
“One grant was used to add mulch to the Richmond Heights playground and the other grant was used to add mulch to the J.F. Gregory Park playground,” Sowell said. “The grants are important because the money they provide help with maintenance and upkeep of our local playgrounds.”
Playgrounds and playground equipment deteriorate over time, Sowell said, explaining the city uses budgeted money to help keep the parks in good condition for the community.
“Grant funding takes of the cost burden off of the city and provides for the continued improvement of our parks,” Sowell said. “If city playgrounds were not maintained, they would deteriorate over time, making them unsafe for the community to use.”
Richmond Hill has an annual Play Day as a part of one of their events or festivals. It encourages children and the community to get out and stay active.
“It means the city is committed to providing outside recreational activities for children during these events to keep them healthy and active,” Sowell said.
KaBOOM! is a national non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring all children get the balance of active play they need to become healthy and successful adults. With partners, KaBOOM! has had the opportunity to open more than 15,000 playgrounds and serve more than 6.6 million children.
The Humana Foundation is a philanthropic arm of Humana Inc., one of the nation’s leading healthcare companies. The Foundation promotes healthy behavior and healthy relationships, specifically childhood health, intergenerational health and active lifestyles.

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