The first annual Playground Safety Advocate of the Year Award was given to Dr. Frances Wallach from New York.
Dr. Wallach has worked tirelessly for over 30 years on behalf of children and playground safety. As a founding member of the ASTM Committee on Public Playgrounds, Dr. Wallach has had significant influence in shaping the ASTM standards since 1988. In addition, Dr. Wallach has been instrumental in developing and guiding the National Playground Safety Institute and the National Program for Playground Safety as an active board member.
Dr. Wallach's commitment to children can be summed up in a recent article in Parks and Recreation in which she stated: "As a direct survivor of the September 11th disaster I saw, firsthand, the terrible after-effects on the surviving children; and today I see the care and attention that these children require to regain their normal youthful outlook and growth."
Critical to this recovery has been the availability of recreation and places to play . . . If children are our future and will direct our future, we must protect them until their future arrives. Making our playgrounds safer is not a "sissy" thing to do, but a true investment in tomorrow for our entire population".
For all that she has done, NPPS was proud to award Dr. Frances Wallach the inaugural Ahrens National Playground Safety Advocate of the Year.
Each year, NPPS will be recognizing individuals for their dedication to making children safe on playgrounds.