Project Play is a joint venture of the Alexandria Childhood Obesity Action Network (A-COAN) and the FitArlington Healthy Community Action Team (H-CAT) that seeks to improve play opportunities in Northern Virginia by:
- promoting higher quality play spaces throughout the Alexandria and Arlington,
- advocating for fairer distribution of play spaces across Alexandria and Arlington,
- providing easy-to find information about play spaces, and
- generating interest in play and offering ideas for play.
An A-COAN task force created Project Play in 2009 in an effort to improve play opportunities for children in the City of Alexandria, Virginia. Neighbors, early childhood and healthy living activists, folks from the Parks and Recreation and Health Departments, and other City offices and organizations have joined together in A-COAN to improve and enhance play spaces for kids in Alexandria.
The Play Space Audit
Did you know that Alexandria is the first city in the country to commission an assessment of every play space in the City? Thanks to Project Play, we now know a lot about most outdoor play spaces in the City! You can find the audit here.
Alexandria Has a Play Policy
The Alexandria City Council adopted a Play Policy thanks to the advocacy and hard work of the Project Play team, and based in large part on the play space assessment we commissioned. Read it here. Now our City departments have official guidelines when they make important decisions about play spaces for kids all over Alexandria.
Expanding Project Play
In 2015, A-COAN invited the FitArlington H-CAT to add Arlington’s playgrounds to Project Play, expanding play opportunities for both jurisdictions alike. Like A-COAN, H-CAT consists of a mixture of community members and Arlington County employees who are passionate about the health and well-being of Arlington’s children. Funded by the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth, FitArlington’s H-CAT supports the Arlington area in efforts to reduce childhood obesity and promote health by encouraging healthy living. The H-CAT Subcommittee on Early Education spearheaded the effort to join Project Play by recruiting volunteers from the community to assess, categorize, and evaluate more than 90 playgrounds in public parks and schoolyards across Arlington. The Team is thrilled to add on to what A-COAN started, and improve access to play spaces for families across the region.