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America is Your Park Program: Vote for Your Favorite Park

Summer is a time for the outdoors, and our family makes it a point to spend as much time as humanly possible without a roof over our heads. Our first weekend of this great season was spent entirely outdoors a la camping. We’ve also already logged countless hours by the pool, and many such sessions end with an outside meal. After all, few things scream Summer like a nice cookout.

But one such thing would be your favorite park. When I was a kid, the neighborhood park was my home away from home and stood witness to my tireless stickball efforts (I was a legend, y’all), not to mention my kick-the-can prowess. You know what me and that park have in common? We’re both a lot older. And most things require maintenance as they age.

And the above two paragraphs sum up why I’m so into Coca-Cola’s third annual America is Your Park program. Because not only does the program encourage us to celebrate our local parks, but it also provides you a way to get your park some money. Dollar bills, y’all. And you know what helps maintain a park as it ages? Dinero.

So here’s how it works. Go to THIS SITE and vote for your favorite park. The park with the most votes wins (get this) $100,000. I believe it was the great Randy Moss (a beneficiary, you would assume, of one of our nation’s great parks) who once said, “Straight cash, homie.”

But it’s not just the first-place park that gets the aforementioned straight cash. Homie. Because the second and third place parks get $50,000 and $25,000 grants, respectively. Not too shabby.

But there’s more: You can actually hook your park up with more votes by doing little things like “checking in” the next time you’re at your favorite park with Foursquare. And there are other ways to help garner support for your local park — all detailed quite clearly HERE.

SO… what park will I be voting for? Simple. Lakeshore Park here in beautiful Knoxville, TN, which is located on the grounds of a regional mental health institute and operated by the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities.The park was founded in 1996 when the institute decided to downsize, thus, needing less land.

And the reasons why it’s my favorite park are many. First, it affords its users spectacular views of Fort Louden Lake and the Great Smoky Mountains. It also has an undulating 2.2-mile track which circles the park and is perfect for running or walking. The 110 acres inside contain six baseball / softball fields with lights, a concession stands, restrooms, two soccer fields (and many, many more makeshift fields where the kids practice and play real games), ample parking and an incredible playground to boot.

So, yeah, something for everyone and a lot to love. The park is a perfect spot for a little fun in the sun, not to mention the venue for our baseball/softball/soccer-playing kids. A community-building place for certain as evidenced by many philanthropic events it hosts each year including the annual Talahi Plant Sale.

So tell me. What’s your favorite park? Why is it so important to you?

Okay great. The next question is WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? Go to THIS SITE and vote for that special park in America Is Your Park program. You might just earn your favorite spot $100,000.

Straight cash, homie.

This is sponsored content from Babble and The Coca-Cola Company. All opinions expressed in the post are my own and not those of Coca-Cola. NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Only legal residents of the 50 U.S. (and D.C.) who are at least 13 years old and reside within the U.S. at the time of participation are eligible to vote for a Park. Participate on behalf of a Park by: July 15, 2012. The 3 most popular Parks will be offered a grant and there will be 1 Wild Card drawing at the end of the Contest to award an additional grant.  To participate, for Official Rules, and complete details including grant descriptions, visit http://cokeurl.com/parksbabble. Void where prohibited. Click here to see more of the discussion.

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