New Mexico Department of Health
Our mission is to promote health and wellness, improve health outcomes, and assure safety net services for all people in New Mexico.
Paul Rhien
505-470-2290 Office

Imagination Playground in Socorro County

September 25, 2017 - Healthy Kids New Mexico - Information

Healthy Kids Socorro County has been awarded an Imagination Playground in a Cart™, an innovative playground equipment system, thanks to a grant provided by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico (BCBSNM) and national non-profit KaBOOM!. The playground equipment will be unveiled Thursday, Sept 21 at the Socorro Sports Complex located at 1 Rodeo Dr. in Socorro.

Unstructured, child-directed play has proven to help kids develop physically, emotionally, socially and intellectually, yet today’s kids have less time and fewer opportunities to play than any previous generation.

Imagination Playground in a Cart™ is an innovative design in play equipment that encourages creativity, communication and collaboration in play. With a collection of custom-designed, oversized blue foam parts, Imagination Playground™ provides a changing array of elements that allow children to turn their playground into a space constantly built and re-built by their imagination.

KaBOOM!, the national non-profit dedicated to giving all kids the childhood they deserve through play, is working with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico to increase access to play across the country.

“The Imagination Playground in a Cart™ is a fabulous way to get both the bodies and minds of kids active,” said Rita Condon, Manager of the New Mexico Department of Health’s Obesity, Nutrition and Physical Activity Program. “We are grateful to be awarded it and look forward to learning firsthand how literally equipping children’s imaginations can lead to greater fitness.”

Healthy Kids Healthy Communities, a Department of Health program, builds state and local partnerships to expand children’s opportunities for healthy eating and active living where they live, learn, and play. The innovative Socorro playground contributes to the program’s mission in new, unique ways.

“Play is an important part of childhood,” said Randy Shaffer, Vice President of Sales, BCBSNM. “Active play on a daily basis helps children develop physically, mentally, and emotionally. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico and our dedicated staff are proud to contribute this playground to help children in Socorro County develop active minds and bodies.”

This is the eighth Imagination Playground that BCBSNM has donated in conjunction with KaBOOM! since 2013. Through this partnership, more kids have the play-filled childhood they deserve. BCBSNM supports KaBOOM! in making sure that all kids get the balanced and active play they need to thrive.


About Healthy Kids Healthy Communities

A project of the New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) and state and local partners, Healthy Kids New Mexico, creates healthy environments and programs to give kids what they need to play well, eat well, learn well, and live healthy and full lives. Because healthy eating and physical activity are two lifestyle choices that prevent obesity and subsequent chronic disease.

Together, Healthy Kids is working with teachers, parents, community leaders and policymakers to reduce the trend of overweight and obese children by shaping and nurturing children’s healthy eating and active living habits, creating and sustaining healthy environments, and promoting positive health policies.

Healthy Kids Healthy Communities (HKHC) was launched in 2011 to address childhood obesity by working directly with local communities to increase healthy eating and active living opportunities for elementary school-age and preschool children throughout the state. HKHC serves 15 counties and 5 tribal communities, reaching over 57,000 children (37% of NM public elementary school population).


About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico

BCBSNM is the largest commercial health insurer in New Mexico with 550,000 New Mexicans carrying a Blue Cross and Blue Shield card. Since 1940, BCBSNM has been committed to promoting the health and wellness of its members and communities through accessible, cost-effective, quality health care. BCBSNM is a Division of Health Care Service Corporation, the country’s largest customer-owned health insurer and fourth largest health insurer overall. Health Care Service Corporation is a Mutual Legal Reserve Company and an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

BCBSNM supports communities where our employees and members work, live and play. Learn how we are making a difference in community giving, volunteerism, diversity and inclusion, ethics and compliance, and sustainability in our 2016 Social Responsibility Report.


About KaBOOM!

KaBOOM! is the national non-profit dedicated to giving all kids – particularly those growing up in poverty in America – the childhood they deserve filled with balanced and active play, so they can thrive. Since 1996, KaBOOM! has collaborated with partners to build, open or improve nearly 16,300 playgrounds, engage more than one million volunteers and serve 8.1 million kids.

KaBOOM! creates great places to play, inspires communities to promote and support play and works to drive the national discussion about the importance of play in fostering healthy and productive lives. To learn why #playmatters and why cities are embracing #playability: visit KaBOOM! or join the conversation at KaBOOM! on Twitter or KaBOOM! on Facebook.


Media Contact

We would be happy to provide additional information about this press release. Simply contact Paul Rhien at 505-470-2290 (Office) with your questions.


Versión en Español

En un esfuerzo para hacer que nuestros comunicados de prensa sean más accesibles, también tenemos disponibles una versión en español. Por favor presione el enlace de abajo para acceder a la traducción.

Patio de juego de la Imaginación en el Condado de Socorro