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Ottawa Embraces Playability Along the Prairie Spirit Trail

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Ottawa Kansas has been designated as a Playful City USA for the sixth time, making it one of over 240 cities and towns from across the country making play a priority in their communities.

Their 2015 designation highlights recent work along the Prairie Spirit Trail:

Leading cities are taking comprehensive actions to bring play near all their residents. Ottawa, KS painted 40 hopscotch courses throughout its neighborhoods to promote fun and active play with the Hoppin’ Ottawa Campaign. Hopscotch courses can be found everywhere — downtown, in public spaces (city hall, schools, hospitals), in retail businesses and on trails.

The city also installed three Play Pods – small, innovative play structures made of recycled tires — on the Prairie Spirit Trail through several lower income neighborhoods that don’t have a park or playground within walking distance. The city plans to add more pods in the future in other locations, and neighboring towns have expressed interest in replicating the idea in their communities. These comprehensive actions were achieved by a Play Task Force of city officials and community leaders focused on improving health and welfare of the community through play. [read more]

The following photo is courtesy of the Ottawa Herald:

A “play pod” sits in fall 2014, shortly after its installation along the Prairie Spirit Trail near the intersection of 11th and Walnut streets, Ottawa. Another small pod area also was assembled at 10th and Walnut streets. Projects like the play pods have earned Ottawa the designation as a Playful City USA for the sixth year.
A “play pod” sits in fall 2014, shortly after its installation along the Prairie Spirit Trail near the intersection of 11th and Walnut streets, Ottawa. Another small pod area also was assembled at 10th and Walnut streets. Projects like the play pods have earned Ottawa the designation as a Playful City USA for the sixth year.

The Playful City USA program encourages cities to make play a priority in their communities.”Playful City USA communities utilize play as an innovative solution to address a number of challenges facing kids, families and communities. In turn, these communities retain a competitive advantage by creating healthier, more vibrant communities where families want to live and companies want to do business.”

Congratulations to the City of Ottawa for encouraging playability along the Prairie Spirit Trail!

Randy Rasa
Follow Randy Rasa:

Randy runs Bike Prairie Spirit, as well as the Kansas Cyclist web site, which is the web's premier Kansas cycling information site, featuring authoritative guides to Kansas cycling clubs, bike shops, organized bike rides, touring, trails, and much more.

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