City Nationally Recognized By KaBOOM! For Health Programming For Children
NEW ORLEANS – The City of New Orleans has been recognized by national nonprofit KaBOOM! as part of its 2016 Playful Cities USA initiative for developing innovative ways to attract residents through family friendly activities. City officials said this recognition is a direct result of Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s commitment to increasing recreational programming across the city and focusing on healthy initiatives for the New Orleans children.
“We are honored that KaBOOM! has recognized New Orleans,” said Mayor Landrieu. “Obesity is a public health crisis—especially among children. It is important that we create an environment that promotes and supports physical activity, especially for our youth. The City of New Orleans is dedicated to engaging our residents about making healthier choices. KaBOOM! is a great partner in this cause.”
KaBOOM! recognized cities that provide children year-round programming through significant collaboration among nonprofit partners, the mayor’s office and business communities.
“We are thrilled to recognize these communities that have invested their time and efforts to put kids first,” said KaBOOM! CEO James Siegal. “Balanced and active play is crucial to the well-being of kids and the communities in which they thrive. By integrating play into cities, the leaders of Playful Cities USA are working to attract and retain the thousands of families that want homes in close proximity to safe places to play.”
The Mayor’s Fit NOLA initiative is a partnership between the City and local organizations, working together to create a healthier New Orleans by promoting physical activity and improved nutrition. Fit NOLA aims to improve the quality of life for all who live, learn, work and play in New Orleans. The New Orleans Health Department leads the effort to shape a shared vision for the Fit NOLA partnership.
New Orleans Health Director Charlotte Parent said, “We are committed to continuing to create a healthy, active environment for our city’s children, and this award is a direct reflection of that. We are proud of the work being done around the city to help us reach our goal of becoming one of the nation’s healthiest cities by our 300th anniversary in 2018.”
City officials said, in 2011 Mayor Landrieu doubled the City’s contribution to the New Orleans Recreation Development Commission (NORDC) budget and has also invested considerable FEMA reimbursement funds in recreation-related capital projects. Mayor Landrieu has consistently promoted recreation’s potential for improving life in city neighborhoods.
“We are excited for another designation as a playful city,” said Vic Richard, CEO of NORDC. “We continue to build a robust package of programming, quality facilities and playgrounds for the residents of New Orleans— making aggressive strides in creating the best recreation department in the country.”
Since 2011, NORDC has invested over $150 million in its expansive programs and facilities, which give residents access to safe spaces to play across the City.
The City has 329 designated play places.
New Orleans is one of 257 communities in the nation recognized for exhibiting playability as part of 2016 Playful City USA Program.