Of the 118 cities nationwide to earn the designation, San Francisco and Redwood City are the only others in Northern California.
“This is our joy,” said Park and Recreation Department Director Craig Bronzan. “Just thinking of all the facilities we’ve built, and then seeing the community use them, and then having an outside agency recognize what we do, it doesn’t get any better than that.”
Mayor Bob Taylor said he’s proud that Brentwood is setting a good example for others.
“Through the Playful City USA program, other communities across the country will now look to Brentwood as a role model,” he said. “These cities and towns will examine our best practices and look to replicate them in their communities. I take a tremendous amount of pride in knowing that what we’re doing here in Brentwood will improve the lives of not only our children, but children elsewhere as well.”
Each of the 2010 Playful City USA communities demonstrated creative commitments to the cause of play, KaBOOM! CEO and co-founder Darell Hammond said in a press release announce the award. “A primary goal of Playful City USA is to encourage cities and towns to share creative ideas, concepts and programs in an effort to increase play opportunities for children. Brentwood offers the community a unique opportunity with its Wellness Policy, a community-wide aspirational goal which promotes physical activity and education as the benefits of living a healthy lifestyle.
“An extreme misconception exists in our country that play among children is a luxury when, in fact, it’s an absolute necessity. For decades this notion dominated our actions, and we continue to see the damaging results: a monumental lack of play spaces for children and skyrocketing childhood obesity rates. Brentwood refused to adhere to the status quo and realized all children deserve a municipal commitment to the cause of play. Playful City USA communities serve as beacons for the rest of our nation that an investment in children is an investment in our future.”
To help mark the occasion, it was announced that Brentwood will hold its third annual Play Day starting at 1 p.m. on Sept. 6 at Veterans Park. Dubbed “Playbor Day” because of the Labor Day holiday, the event is one of 1,000 similar events occurring nationwide, and will include games, a scavenger hunt and a park improvement project.
At 3 p.m., the event will move next door for a 10th anniversary celebration for the city’s Family Aquatic Complex, where Taylor will kick things off by going down a water slide.
“Don’t worry,” Taylor told a laughing audience at the meeting. “My wife is making sure I’ll be wearing the appropriate clothes.”