Idaho Falls, ID – The city of Idaho Falls is being honored with a 2015 Playful City USA designation for the first time.
In partnership with the Humana Foundation, KaBOOM! is honoring 241 cities, towns and counties across the country for making their communities more playable.
The Idaho Falls Parks & Recreation Department is responsible for a myriad of city facilities and programs including three championship golf courses, the Wes Deist Aquatic Center, Joe Marmo/Wayne Lehto Ice Arena, Idaho Falls Zoo at Tautphaus Park, Idaho Falls Recreation Center, Activity Center and numerous programs and athletic leagues.
“We focus on creating a sense of community and improving the quality of life for our residents by offering a wide variety of programming,” states Parks & Recreation Director, Greg A. Weitzel.
New programs offered include Movies in the Park, Dive in Movies, Big Hole Golf, Family Golf Day, Laser Light Skate Night, fishing clinics, pickle ball leagues, walking club, summer soccer programs, a skateboard clinic and competition, yoga classes and a Pilates class – bringing the list of programs and special events to well over 200 annually. Several traditional recreational programs are also offered throughout the year.
More than 400 acres and 7.5 miles of dirt bike and ATV trails at Idaho Falls Raceway will open soon. The trails will be free to the public and will offer a great alternative for beginners and intermediate riders to practice their skills without leaving the area.
“As a city, we are honored to be among those selected as a Playful City USA,” states Mayor Casper. “We remain ever-committed to serving the needs of residents and visitors alike by offering recreational activities and open spaces to facilitate active lifestyles,” adds Casper.
“This designation is a testament to what is important to our community,” states Weitzel. “We recognize that play results in significant health benefits for both children and adults, and with great community partnerships, Idaho Falls will continue to make strides to becoming a fitter city,” adds Weitzel.
Hopscotch sidewalks, structured recess programs, mandated neighborhood play spaces, city-wide play days and mobile recreation vehicles are all ways in which these communities are appealing to residents, and attracting and retaining residents.
“Playability is crucial to the success of our future communities, and we are proud of the work these cities and leaders are doing to provide a better quality of life for all residents, and especially families,” says KaBOOM! President, James Siegal. “Play provides a competitive advantage for cities looking to attract and retain residents. With these esteemed leaders, and our friends and partners across the country, we continue to prioritize play for all kids.”
To learn more about these cities, see the full list of the 241 communities named 2015 Playful City USA honorees, or to gather more information on the Playful City USA program, visit www.playfulcityusa.org. We also encourage you to take part in the conversation on #playability with these thought leaders on Twitter and Facebook.
Photo: Idaho Falls Mayors Rebecca Casper & Jared Fuhriman. Courtesy of Dayne Dingman, Artcore Visual Studios.
About Idaho Falls: Situated along the Snake River at the western edge of the world famous Rocky Mountains, Idaho Falls has all the features of big city living, but still embraces a small town charm. Our skyline consists of the majestic Teton Mountain Range, and in our backyard is the world’s most famous park – Yellowstone. As the regional center for healthcare, shopping, and entertainment, Idaho Falls is attractive to small and large businesses alike and consistently finds itself listed in the top ten rankings of many prestigious magazines, newspapers and professional community research publications. Learn more at http://www.idahofallsidaho.gov/
KaBOOM! is the national non-profit dedicated to giving all kids – particularly those growing up in poverty in America – the childhood they deserve filled with balanced and active play, so they can thrive. Since 1996, KaBOOM! has collaborated with partners to build, open or improve nearly 16,300 playgrounds, engaged more than one million volunteers and served 8.1 million kids. KaBOOM! creates great places to play, inspires communities to promote and support play, and works to drive the national discussion about the importance of play in fostering healthy and productive lives. To learn why #playmatters: visit kaboom.org or join the conversation at twitter.com/kaboom or facebook.com/kaboom