ARLINGTON, Va. -- First Lady Michelle Obama today asked parents to help build a nationwide map of playgrounds on kaboom.org, the Web site of national non-profit KaBOOM!
The request came as Mrs. Obama promoted her “Let’s Move!” anti-obesity campaign at a national conference of PTA members here.
“It’s about making sure our communities have safe places for kids to play,” she said. “There’s this terrific non-profit -- KaBOOM!“ – that’s working to do this. Right now they’re working to map every single playground in the country so that parents can find the closest one in their neighborhood, and I encourage you to check it out and add the playgrounds in your own community to their list.”
The playspace map can be found on the KaBOOM! Web site, kaboom.org. Users can find local places to play, add their own entries, rate and review playgrounds, and more.
Just as Ms. Obama discussed “food deserts,” communities where parents don’t have access to grocery stores to purchase healthy foods, there are also “play deserts,” communities that lack parks and playgrounds. According to a Harris Interactive Poll that KaBOOM! conducted, 82% of parents believe that children today do not spend enough time playing outside. Shockingly, 59% of them don’t have access to a community playground, and that percentage increases to 69% in low-income communities.
Answer the First Lady’s call to help KaBOOM! create a national map of the state of play. Add your local parks and playgrounds into the KaBOOM! Playspace Finder. Rate them and see how they add up against other playgrounds in your area. Find underserved areas without playgrounds and use additional KaBOOM! tools to create a playground for children in those communities. Once KaBOOM! has a comprehensive map of the state of play across the nation, we’ll be better able to target underserved areas, influence public policy, and realize our vision of a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America.