Knoxville Receives Playful City USA Designation from KABOOM!

Communications Director

Kristin Farley
(865) 215-2589

400 Main St., Room 691
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Knoxville Receives Playful City USA Designation from KABOOM!

Posted: 05/18/2017
With four additional playgrounds built in Knoxville in 2017, the national non-profit KaBOOM! has designated the City of Knoxville a Playful City USA for the second consecutive 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 recognized for 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 nationwide 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 kids.

“With busy family schedules, access and convenience can be as important as providing the facility itself,” said Joe Walsh, Director of Knoxville Parks and Recreation. “We strive to provide more opportunities for kids to play, have fun, and be active at the same time.”

In collaboration with a variety of community partners, the City of Knoxville gained four new playgrounds in the last year, including amenities at Zaevion Dobson Memorial Playground and Park, Civic Auditorium and Coliseum, Suttree Landing Park, and Baker Creek Preserve.

Earlier this year, the City opened a large embankment slide complemented by other amenities at the Civic Auditorium and Coliseum. The “Knoxville Slides” pilot project was funded through a “Play Everywhere Challenge” grant from KaBOOM!. The grant challenged cities to come up with “play along the way” opportunities for families.

“We are thrilled to recognize Knoxville 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.”

To see the full list of Playful City USA communities and learn more about making play the easy choice for kids, visit You can also take part in the conversation with leaders across the country using #PLAYceforkids on Twitter and Facebook. For more information on City recreation facilities, visit

About KaBOOM!

KaBOOM! is the national non-profit dedicated to giving all kids – particularly those growing up in poverty in America – the childhood they deserve filled with balanced and active play, so they can thrive. Since 1996, KaBOOM! has collaborated with partners to build, open or improve nearly 16,700 playgrounds, engaged more than 1 million volunteers and served 8.5 million kids. KaBOOM! creates great places to play, inspires communities to promote and support play, and works to drive the national discussion about the importance of play in fostering healthy and productive lives. To learn why #playmatters and why cities are embracing #playability, visit or join the conversation at or