Play­ful City USA

Fort My­ers earns cov­eted des­ig­na­tion, think­ing out­side the box

Gulf & Main - - Around Town -

Fort My­ers is a “Play­ful City USA” kind of town. The award is given an­nu­ally by a Wash­ing­ton, D.C.-based non­profit that has raised mil­lions to build play­grounds in Amer­i­can cities. That non­profit, KaBOOM!, was started when its founder learned that chil­dren in a D.C. neigh­bor­hood had per­ished play­ing in an aban­doned car. The agency in 20 years has helped build some 2,000 play­grounds. The Play­ful City USA tag is given to towns such as Fort My­ers that think out­side the box, bring­ing ac­tiv­i­ties to chal­lenged neigh­bor­hoods; movies in the park, green-space events co-spon­sored by po­lice and fire agen­cies, for in­stance, part of the city’s $1.6 mil­lion an­nual recre­ation bud­get. Fort My­ers, the only city in South­west Florida picked for the recog­ni­tion, has earned five des­ig­na­tions as Play­ful City USA. Some 260 Amer­i­can cities re­ceive the award.

Fort My­ers brings recre­ation to city parks and green spa­ces, earn­ing it a cov­eted award given by a Wash­ing­ton, D. C., non­profit.

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