Las Vegas Sun

August 1, 2014

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Henderson lauded as a ‘playful’ city

While Forbes Magazine voted Henderson one of the “most boring” cities, back in January, KaBoom!, a national non-profit organization, has recognized the city as a Playful City USA for 2009. This is the second year Henderson has received this honor.

“Henderson has always been able to balance being a big city with big city amenities with its small town, hometown feel,” said Kim Becker, Marketing and Communications Supervisor for the City of Henderson Parks and Recreation Department. “We want every visit to a park or recreation center to be fun and memorable.”

Playful City USA is a national program honoring cities and towns that put children’s well-being first by recognizing and harnessing the power of play.

To be honored, a city has to demonstrate quantity, quality, and access with a commitment to the cause of play. I think the quantity, quality, and access to parks within Henderson is astounding: More than 50 areas are devoted to recreation, and more are in the works.

“The Parks and Recreation Department plays an important role in that balance and in that quality of life because we are everywhere and we serve everyone. For children and their families, it means access to safe, well-equipped neighborhood parks and a wide variety of quality recreation programs for all ages and abilities,” Becker said.

Henderson is working on putting shade structures over playground areas so that the summertime is more enjoyable, she said.

Henderson Parks and Rec Director, Mary Ellen Donner said, “to date, we are about halfway toward our goal of adding a shade shelter at 67 play spaces throughout the city.”

Because I work part-time, I leave work in the mid-afternoon. I love hearing the screams and laughter coming from children at the nearby pool. I believe that no matter how much the Internet will continue to offer, or how progressive video games become, children thrive on active, outdoor play.

“We are raising a whole generation of children in captivity because parents are increasingly risk-averse,” said children’s tsar professor Tanya Byron, a clinical psychologist, the Daily Express, a British newspaper.

I agree – get outside and play!

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