Local News

Fayetteville Recreation Program Proving Popular

Posted April 24, 2001 3:16 a.m. EDT

— Dennis Biddle says outside of school, there's no better place for his son to be with his 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 recreation centers in Fayetteville and Cumberland County. That is a huge increase from 1996, when just over 130,000 people used the same facilities.

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

"I think it's a natural partnership," says Larry Philpott, Cumberland County Parks and Recreation Director. "The schools have them during the daytime, and the recreation department has them during the evening and on the weekends, so we'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.