The national non-profit organization KaBOOM! is recognizing Las Cruces as a 2013 Playful City USA community. The recognition is for Las Cruces’ efforts to provide children ample opportunities for play. Las Cruces is one of 217 cities and towns across the country to receive the recognition.
Sponsored by the Humana Foundation, Playful City USA is a national program from KaBOOM! that celebrates and promotes local policies that increase play opportunities for children, and is a key platform in combating the lack of play among children. The Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics reports that play is essential to the social, emotional, cognitive and physical well-being of children.
According to KaBOOM!, today’s generation of children play less than any previous generation despite the vast benefits of play. “Playful City USA communities like Las Cruces are creating innovative programs and initiatives and deserve recognition because of their efforts to give kids the childhood they deserve and best prepare them for their future. It is through mayors, city council members, parks and recreation departments, school districts and community leaders that the program succeeds in benefitting children.”
Las Cruces is further engaging its residents through the creation of the Munson Multigenerational Recreation area surrounding Munson Senior Center. The first phase of the project will provide a community garden. Phase two will include a recreation section dedicated to special play activity geared toward all activity levels.