ATLANTA - While Election Day is still months away, people from around the country have already cast a "Yes" vote for parks. After a heated, six-week contest, Pratt Park in Prattville, Ala., was elected "America's Favorite Park," garnering more than 28 million votes. In addition to winning top honors in the 2012 America Is Your Park campaign, the Alabama favorite received a $100,000 recreation grant from the Coca‑Cola Live Positively initiative to help enhance its activity areas.
The fierce online campaign included more than 16,000 parks from around the country. The spirited competition among national, state and local parks sparked community support through park events, vote-a-thons and more. Park lovers used social media to encourage online voting or in-person "check ins" via foursquare. For Pratt Park, the competition brought Prattville together at multiple events, featuring "flash mob check-ins," voting stations, music and food.
"During the America Is Your Park campaign, we had an outpouring of support unlike anything we'd ever experienced," said Drew Peterson, Leisure Services Director, City of Prattville. "While our goal was winning the grant to install a family-friendly splash pad, the most valuable reward was the way our community came together for our beloved hometown park. We want to thank Coca‑Cola for this recognition, and congratulate our entire community for helping crown Pratt Park as America's favorite."
Second- and third-place winners -- Krull Park in Olcott, N.Y., and Curry Hammock State Park in Marathon, Fla. -- received $50,000 and $25,000 recreation grants, respectively. Additionally, Swift-Cantrell Park in Kennesaw, Ga., was chosen, at random, to receive a $15,000 grant.1 Activity grants totaling $80,000 were also awarded to select parks across the country. These grants are provided to help restore, rebuild or enhance activity areas in parks where people can play and be active.
"People love their parks. We see that passion spring to life every year when voting opens for America Is Your Park," said Celeste Bottorff, Vice President, Living Well, Coca‑Cola North America. "With America Is Your Park, Coca‑Cola gives people a simple way to make a difference and show love for their communities. We continue to build on a more than 40 year commitment to restore and rebuild our nation's parks for everyone to enjoy."
About the Winning Parks
Pratt Park is one of the busiest parks in Prattville, Ala. It features "A Child's Place" playground, an Olympic-size swimming pool, a pond for fishing and remote-controlled boating, and a stadium for sporting events. Pratt Park, which runs alongside Autauga Creek, serves as the site of the annual July Fourth BBQ, fireworks and cardboard boat races.
Krull Park of Olcott, N.Y., was established in 1937 and covers more than 325 acres. Used year round, the park includes five softball diamonds, soccer and lacrosse fields, basketball courts, horseshoe pits, two playgrounds, tennis courts, a new splash park, and four exercise stations.
Curry Hammock State Park, located east of Marathon in the heart of the Florida Keys, offers great opportunities for wildlife viewing. The beach is a popular place for kite boarding and windsurfing. Picnic shelters are the perfect location for family and group picnics overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.
Swift-Cantrell Park serves as the premier recreation, relaxation and central gathering place in Kennesaw, Ga. At 42 acres, the city's largest park offers a unique blend of family-friendly amenities. The park hosts special events including free outdoor movies, 5K races and fitness classes.
Coca‑Cola collaborated with the National Park Foundation, America's State Parks and the National Recreation and Park Association on the America Is Your Park campaign.
The Coca‑Cola Company
The Coca‑Cola Company (NYSE: KO) is the world's largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with more than 500 sparkling and still brands. Led by Coca‑Cola, the world's most valuable brand, our Company's portfolio features 15 billion dollar brands including Diet Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Coca‑Cola Zero, vitaminwater, Powerade, Minute Maid, Simply, Georgia and Del Valle. Globally, we are the No. 1 provider of sparkling beverages, ready-to-drink coffees, and juices and juice drinks. Through the world's largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy our beverages at a rate of 1.8 billion servings a day. With an enduring commitment to building sustainable communities, our Company is focused on initiatives that reduce our environmental footprint, support active, healthy living, create a safe, inclusive work environment for our associates, and enhance the economic development of the communities where we operate. Together with our bottling partners, we rank among the world's top 10 private employers with more than 700,000 system employees. For more information, visit www.coca-colacompany.com, follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/CocaColaCo, or find us on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/the-coca-cola-company.
The wildcard winner was randomly selected from the parks that finished between 4th and 25th place on the leaderboard after the voting was certified. The random selection (or drawing) was conducted using the third-party contest administrator's proprietary technology.