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‘Knope’ way, Arizona. Amerson River Park in final showdown in ‘Parks and Recreation’-themed contest

Leadership Macon adds another fitness element to Amerson River Park

Leadership Macon Class of 2017 members installed new fitness equipment at Amerson River Park. Project manager Spencer Hawkins and construction manager Wright Woodall talk about the eight heavy duty exercise machines.
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Leadership Macon Class of 2017 members installed new fitness equipment at Amerson River Park. Project manager Spencer Hawkins and construction manager Wright Woodall talk about the eight heavy duty exercise machines.

One has a river and the other has trains.

Amerson River Park in Macon, Georgia, and McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park in Scottsdale, Arizona, are in a showdown for the national championship round of the Knope Award, which recognizes community pride in local government parks.

The annual competition, in its third year, was created by the nonprofit Engaging Local Government Leaders. It is modeled after the March Madness basketball tournament and named after Leslie Knope from the NBC comedy “Parks and Recreation.”

The parks have until 3 p.m. Saturday to garner the most online votes. To vote, visit https://elgl.org/elglknope-national-championship.

Instagram posts of selfies or pictures at the parks can earn it double points if it includes the hashtag #ELGLKnope and tags @ELGL50. Macon-Bibb County spokesman Chris Floore said those who do not have an Instagram account may send pictures to the Macon-Bibb County Facebook page to be posted on the county’s Instagram.

“The response to this has been overwhelming,” Interim Parks & Beautification Director Randell Hunt said in a statement. “It’s been great to see so many people posting their favorite pictures and telling the country why it deserves to be named the best park in the country.”

Amerson River Park is the former site of a Macon Water Authority treatment plant that was submerged in the Flood of 1994. A $5.5 million federal grant in 2015 allowed the county to close the 160-acre park to revitalize it over a period of 15 months.

Improvements made to the park include two picnic pavilions, a scenic river overlook, bathrooms at the playground, 4 miles of walking trails, outdoor gym equipment and open lawns.

In the coming years, there are plans to connect the trails at Amerson with the Ocmulgee Heritage Trail, a 12-15 mile walking path that eventually will run from Amerson, through historic Riverside and Rose Hill cemeteries and across the Ocmulgee River to trails at the Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park.

Information from Telegraph archives was used in this report.

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