Tonya Love of the Contra Costa County, Calif. group, Healthy and Active Before 5, is dedicated to reducing obesity in children ages 0-5 years. As part of an initiative with the Contra Costa Child Care Council to encourage physical activity, she set out to create an informational brochure to distribute at local clinics, child care facilities and community centers.

Because play helps children stay active and develop critical social and cognitive skills, letting people know where their local playgrounds are located was information she wanted to include.

Knowing about our nationwide Map of Play, Tonya reached out to KaBOOM! for help and then rounded up community members to map the playgrounds in the city of Pittsburg, which lies in the eastern part of the county. KaBOOM! worked with her to use the information she and her team collected to create a customized map of the city’s playspaces for use in their brochure. You can see the results of their efforts on the KaBOOM! Map of Play.

“I noticed that all the parks were in good neighborhoods, but I wondered about low income areas,” says Tonya, who engaged another local parents group working to stem childhood obesity. “I also wondered whether or not low-income parents were aware of the city parks and, if so, how often they went to them.”

Healthy and Active Before 5 is working with county Health Plan to distribute another brochure about play that will address the barriers, including some parent concerns, with outdoor play. Tonya is also working with East County Regional Group parents to conduct the park assessments and will assist the Contra Costa Child Care Council with an upcoming workshop for child care providers to discuss suggestions for different play activities at one of the parks she identified on Map of Play.

Tonya and Healthy and Active Before 5 helped bring key community partners together to help empower citizens, facilitating civic participation in this important initiative by some and allowing others to make healthy choices for their families. Tonya also contributed to our strategic efforts to map the state of play, including play deserts, so we can realize our vision of a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America.