GameTime has announced the funding recipients of its 2017 Show Me Healthy Communities statewide training and funding initiative and they include Maryville Parks and Recreation.

In collaboration with the SSM Health preschool and child care center being built at St. Francis, the grant funding will be used to build a playground, which would be an MPR pocket park and open to the public during non-preschool hours.

MPR Director Aaron Dobson said the two organizations are excited to be recipients of the funding.

“Through our partnership, we will strive to provide a fun experience for individuals of all ability levels unique to our area,” he said.

This funding initiative is a partnership between the Missouri Parks and Recreation Association, GameTime and PlayCore.

“What made this program unique was the educational training and professional development provided by our parent company, PlayCore,” GameTime Senior Vice President Robert Barron said. “These workshops throughout the state of Missouri equipped park and recreation professionals with the research and resources to create recreation spaces that are based on best practices, encourage children and families to be more active and increase the usage of community parks.”

GameTime has committed up to $1 million in matching funds to be distributed to agencies throughout the state.

Each of the playgrounds that are funded by the initiative will be designated as National Demonstration Sites for data collection and will contribute data toward the publication of a White Paper to highlight best practices and outcomes achieved.

“We have always believed play was good for children,” Jan Neitzert, MPRA executive director, said. “Now we’ll have research-based evidence that our community parks are great places to play.”

In addition to MPR, the other grant recipients include Branson Parks and Recreation Department, City of Chesterfield Parks, Recreation and Arts Department, City of Clayton, City of Ferguson, Springfield Greene County Park Board, City of Bowling Green Parks and Recreation Department, City of Clark, City of Columbia Parks and Recreation Department, City of Warrensburg Park and Recreation, Mexico Parks and Recreation and St. Joseph Parks, Recreation and Civic Facilities.

The specific funding amounts for each of the projects will be determined when designs are completed and approved by the related agencies.

For individuals or groups interested in supporting the MPR and SSM Health park project, contact Megan Jennings at