Appleton Park and Recreation Named Project Play Champion at National Summit in Washington D.C.

What is Project Play?

The Aspen Institute’s Project Play initiative was founded in 2013 to prioritize the impact of organized sports in building healthy children and healthy communities. Through their groundbreaking “Sport for All, Play for Life” report in 2015, and their subsequent State of Play reports, produced annually, Project Play’s mission is to identify the key issues impacting our collective ability to provide quality youth sports opportunities to all kids, and to provide the framework and tools that stakeholders need to remove barriers to inclusion and ensure that every child in America is physically literate by age 12, having the ability, confidence and desire to be physically active for life.

How do you become a Project Play Champion?

Starting in 2018, The Aspen Institute’s Project Play set out to recognize organizations committed to making quality sport opportunities accessible to all children in all communities. The Institute has selected organizations that model, and take exemplary actions consistent with the goals of Project Play, and has designated these organizations Project Play Champions. Appleton Parks & Recreation is honored to have been named an inaugural Project Play Champion in recognition of our success in implementing and modeling strategies consistent with the goals of Project Play, and our commitment to promoting these values through specific, meaningful actions on an annual basis.


At a time when nationwide youth sports participation is declining at a rate of 20% (since 2008), our commitment to delivering a youth sports experience that is consistent with our core values has led to a 50% increase in our participation rates since 2014!  To learn more about how we’ve reinvented what a youth sports program can be, check out this great article from the “Changing The Game Project”, highlighting our program’s journey…  #bethenextappleton.