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Tiny Keys Park Third Out Of 16,000 In Contest, Wins Grant

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Florida Keys (photo credit: Thinkstock)

Florida Keys (photo credit: Thinkstock)

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Healthy Living

MARATHON, Fla. (CBSMiami) — A park in Marathon has accomplished the equivalent of making the finals in American Idol.

Against 16,000 parks in the country, Curry Hammock State Park won third place in the 2012 America Is Your Park campaign contest, according to CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald.

The park received a $25,000 recreation grant.

Six weeks ago, Coca-Cola launched the online America’s Favorite Park contest through a partnership with the National Park Foundation. The winners were announced Thursday.

Placing first with 28.4 million votes was Pratt Park in Prattville, Ala. Second with more than 21.1 million votes was Krull Park in Olcott, N.Y. Curry Hammock, in third, got more than 8.1 million votes.

The online campaign included more than 16,000 parks from around the country. The competition among national, state and local parks sparked community support through park events, vote-a-thons and more.

So how did the small state park at mile marker 56.2 rank so high?

“Curry Hammock nabbed the third highest honor because of dedicated supporters who rallied around the park,” Coca-Cola said in a prepared statement. “In addition to organizing voting parties, community groups and clubs visited the park to enjoy its resources and vote. The Kite Boarding Club took voting breaks between rides, and all park visitors, including campers, were encouraged to vote.”

Curry Hammock State Park will use the money for all-terrain wheelchairs, paddleboards, kayaks, canoes and storage equipment. In addition, the park will make upgrades to the playground.

Curry Hammock 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. And RVers flock to it.

Coca-Cola says Pratt Park, the No. 1, is one of the busiest parks in Prattville, Ala. It features a playground, an Olympic-size swimming pool, a pond for fishing and remote-controlled boating, and a stadium for sporting events.

Krull Park, the No. 2, 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.

(©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald contributed material for this report.)

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