Local mother Brenda Roberts launches website rating parks' kid-friendliness

The Castro Valley resident is a mother and the founder of Great-Kids-Parks.com, a website created to inform parents about the kid-friendliness of local parks. Municipal, state and even amusement parks are included. Visit www.great-kids-parks.com.

Why did you start the website? I started it 2½ years ago to provide parents with a catalog of parks that includes photos, maps, and park features so that they can easily find great parks to take their kids to. Currently, there are over 300 parks on the website.

What is the importance of a well-designed, kid-friendly park? In addition to providing kids with much-needed exercise, a well-designed park provides kids with access to all sorts of learning opportunities even if they’re not aware of it. They are exposed to the outdoors and are learning social skills.

What is the most frequent area of dissatisfaction with parks? Some parks have play structures that are so old and worn out that they are unsafe, and others have brand-new play structures that look like works of art but have no play potential.

What do you think parents and cities can do to make their parks more kid-friendly?
Get involved: Let your city representatives know that clean, safe parks are a priority for you and your community. Back that up by spending time at your local parks.

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