KENNESAW, Ga -- The City of Kennesaw feels like it has a diamond in the rough in one of its city's parks. And they are doing everything they can to make sure the rest of the country knows about it.
The city purchased 42 acres of unused land and turned it into Swift-Cantrell Park five years ago. Since then, the park has become a favorite hangout for residents of Kennesaw and Cobb County.
On any given weekend you may have to park in an overflow parking lot at nearby Kennesaw Elementary school to use the park. "Folks are very passionate about the park," said David Pies, Kennesaw Recreation Division Manager. "We have a lot of traffic every day and this is just another validation of what kind of community this is in Kennesaw."
He's talking about an annual Coca Cola competition to find America's Favorite Park. Halfway through the voting Swift-Cantrell Park leads the competition by nearly 3-million votes.
Pies has spearheaded an aggressive campaign to win the competition and an award of $100,000. The campaign is advertised on two electronic signs when you enter Kennesaw and on banners throughout the park. "We feel pretty good about where we're at but we know there are a lot of great parks out there," Pies said.
The multi-use park is an attractive spot for picnics, walks on trails and playgrounds for kids. The city has plans to build a 40-thousand square foot skate park, the largest in the state.
Pies said the city already has plans how to use the $100,000 if they win. "What we'd like to do with the award is install fitness equipment around the trails that would provide physical activity opportunities for everyone," he said.
Cathy Hendrix said she comes to the park two to three times a week. "I can just get out of the office and come here and walk and relax," she said.
"We come here to bring our dog and for the kids to play," Jennifer Vece said. "It's a beautiful space and we don't have a lot of spaces around here."
Voting for America's Favorite Park ends on July 15, 2012.
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