"Playful City USA is a national recognition program that honors cities and towns across the nation who put their children's well-being first by recognizing and harnessing the power of play," according to a release by KaBOOM.
This is the second year KaBOOM! and Qubo, the television and online service for children, have named playful cities. Twenty-seven of the 31 founding cities made the list a second year.
Other cities named to this year's list included New York, N.Y., Tucson, Ariz.
"Financially, the city does not have the means to build new recreational facilities. The playground at Mound Park is old, and has sort of outlived its life. It is coming to the point where certain parts of it could be classified as dangerous and needs a lot of work. What we have been trying to do is to look at ways to come up with funding to building new playground facilities. One of those ways is through the organization KaBOOM," said Portsmouth City Service Department director Chris Murphy.
Earlier in the year, KaBOOM offered cities across the country the chance to submit a video about how their city was a playful city. The winning cities won grants from the company for playground equipment. Portsmouth competed, but did not win.
The Play Board for Portsmouth is made up of community members who have been working to advance their agenda on play. The second-annual Play Day took place on Aug. 31, at York Park.
"The city of Portsmouth has had tremendous community support, as it is staffed with a variety of representatives from non-profit agencies, schools, parents and kids that serve and attend Play Board meetings. The 2008 Play Day included a variety of play activities for the participating children to engage in as well as a naturalist from the Ohio State Park," the company said in a released statement.
"In a time when communities are struggling with critical financial decisions, Portsmouth proved its commitment to the cause of play by launching creative initiatives designed to increase access to play spaces, improve the quality of play in their community and increase the time children spend playing," Darell Hammond, KaBOOM! CEO and co-founder, said in a released statement.
"The ideas range the gamut, from new programming and access initiatives to creating informational resources and public private partnerships. It just goes to show you, where there's a will, there's a play," he said.
Portsmouth was one of three Ohio cities given the distinction of being named a Playful City.