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Fayetteville Recreation Program Proving Popular

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FAYETTEVILLE — Dennis Biddle says outside of school, there's no better place for his son to be withhis friends than at the Cliffdale Recreation Center.

"It's drug free for one, no smoking, no drugs, no alcohol, and that's something kids need to be a part of," he says.

Last year almost 420,000 people participated in activities at parks and recreationcenters in Fayetteville andCumberland County. That is a huge increase from 1996, when just over 130,000 peopleused the same facilities.

A big reason for the jump is a partnership with Cumberland CountySchools to share facilities or locate new recreation centers on campuses.

"I think it's a natural partnership," says Larry Philpott, Cumberland County Parksand Recreation Director. "Theschools have them during the daytime, and the recreation department has them duringthe evening and on the weekends, sowe're both very children oriented."

Five city schools now have recreation centers on campus. The county has plans to open four more centers in the coming years.

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