Area sites among America's Favorite Park nominees
by Marie Nesmith
Jul 27, 2011 | 2601 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Blacksmith Mauro Pradella demonstrates his craft this past spring during Red Top Mountain State Park’s Hills of Iron event. America’s Favorite Park contest is encouraging the public to vote for their best-loved recreational 
facilities that includes several in Bartow County.
SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News, File
Blacksmith Mauro Pradella demonstrates his craft this past spring during Red Top Mountain State Park’s Hills of Iron event. America’s Favorite Park contest is encouraging the public to vote for their best-loved recreational facilities that includes several in Bartow County. SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News, File
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Currently under way, America's Favorite Park contest is encouraging outdoor enthusiasts to vote for their best-loved recreational facilities.

According to www.livepositively.com, "Only one park will receive the title of 'America's Favorite Park' but grants will be given to the three parks that receive the most votes by Sept. 6, 2011. Grants will be awarded in the following amounts: first place -- $100,000, second place -- $50,000 and third place -- $25,000.

"These grants are made possible by the Coca-Cola Live Positively initiative. ... The grants will be used to restore, rebuild or enhance places within the park where people can play or be active. But it's ultimately up to winning parks to determine exactly what their needs are -- maybe it's a new bike path or bike racks, perhaps a new hiking trail or nets for the basketball courts."

As of Tuesday, Oak Park in North Dakota was leading the race with more than 86,000 votes. Among the top five were two Georgia entities, with Little Ocmulgee State Park and Amicalola Falls State Park claiming the fourth and fifth spots, respectively.

"We are grateful to Coca-Cola and everyone involved in this contest for their support of parks and outdoor recreation," said Kim Hatcher, public affairs coordinator for Georgia State Parks & Historic Sites. "These grants could go a long way in providing hiking trails, boat docks, disc golf courses or many other facilities that our citizens enjoy. Spending time in nature is a great way to get exercise while also taking a break from hectic lifestyles."

In Bartow County there are various parks in the running, although they need the public's help to increase their rankings. Local entities include Red Top Mountain State Park, Dellinger Park, Etowah Indian Mounds State Historic Site and Manning Mill Park.

The contest's website, www.livepositively.com, offers various ways for people, who are at least 13 years old, to participate. Along with voting as many times as one desires online, the website lists other options, such as "uploading photos from your favorite park to LivePositively.com, 'checking in' via FaceBook Places from your favorite park, uploading videos of you and your family being active in your favorite park to Live Positively.com (starting Aug. 10)."

The competition is a component of the America Is Your Park campaign, which was developed with the assistance of America's State Parks, National Park Foundation and the National Recreation and Park Association. Last year's winner, Bear Head Lake State Park -- a smaller-scale park in Minnesota -- won the title with more than 1.6 million votes.