The City of Ormond Beach is being honored with a 2017 Playful City USA designation for the sixth year. Playful City USA honors cities and towns across the country for putting the needs of families first so kids can learn, grow and develop important life skills. These communities are transforming ordinary places into playful spaces and using play as a solution to the challenges facing their residents. The 2017 Playful City USA recognition includes 258 communities from Richmond, Virginia, to Richmond, California, that make it as easy as possible for kids to play. In total, these communities feature more than 14,000 safe and engaging play spaces that serve more than 4 million children. Mayor Bill Partington said, “We are extremely happy to learn that Ormond Beach is being honored for the sixth consecutive year as a Playful City USA. Ormond Beach is a wonderful city to raise a family and we continually work to ensure our residents have the best possible recreational amenities and opportunities.” As cities are becoming centers of innovation, communities across the country are using limitless creativity to attract and retain residents. Playful City USA communities work to ensure children have great places to play with the ultimate goal of making play an easy choice for all children no matter where they live. In addition to the playground down the street, Playful City USA communities are ingeniously turning grocery stores, vacant lots, crosswalks and sidewalks into opportunities for play. "We are thrilled to recognize Ormond Beach for putting kids first,” said KaBOOM! CEO James Siegal. “The well-being of our communities starts with the well-being of our kids, and play is critical for them to thrive. It is our collective responsibility to ensure that all kids get the childhood they deserve filled with play.” Ormond Beach is the only city in Volusia County with the 2017 designation and was selected for its continued outstanding dedication to play. Since 1974, Ormond Beach has had a joint use agreement with Volusia County Schools allowing children the opportunity to use the playgrounds, basketball courts, tennis courts, handball courts, and other facilities during after school hours for free and open play. The City’s “Play-Unplugged” after school program is a program which increases play for children aged 4-14 and gets them to put down their electronic devices and “play-unplugged” sports, obstacle courses, board games, creative arts and much more. Recreation builds strong families, promotes social harmony, and is a source of community pride and identity and Ormond Beach is committed to continually enhancing the quality of life for its residents and building a strong, active and playful community. The 2017 honorees hail from 45 states, and the District of Columbia, for a total of 258 Playful City USA designations. For the eleventh consecutive year, Florida paced the nation with 36 Playful City USA communities. California earned second-place with 31 communities, while Arizona and Texas tied for third with 17 Playful City USA communities. To learn more about these cities, see the full list of the 258 communities named 2017 Playful City USA honorees, or to gather more information on the Playful City USA program, visit www.playfulcityusa.org.