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EPA Recognizes Cary, NC for Improving the Environment Through Smart Growth Efforts: Better Environment, Better Quality of Life For Older Americans

Release Date: 02/23/2010
Contact Information: Kara Belle, (404) 562-8322, belle.kara@epa.gov

(CARY, NC – February 23, 2010) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognized Cary, NC as one of four communities in the U.S. for helping to reduce air pollution and improve the quality of life of older adults through smart growth efforts. Smart growth refers to neighborhoods that are creatively designed to reduce driving and environmental harm.

“We’re proud to recognize Cary for making its neighborhoods healthier and creating a more environmentally sustainable community,” said Stan Meiburg, EPA’s Acting Regional Administrator in Atlanta. “Walkways, open space and bike paths, as part of well-designed developments, can improve our environment and offer healthy options for Americans of all ages.”

The town of Cary has demonstrated excellence in smart growth and promoting active aging in the preservation of 2,300 acres of open space, 22 parks, 174 miles of walking and biking trails, and hundreds of fitness and wellness programs designed by and for older adults. Cary has also developed activity centers that are physically and aesthetically unified, concentrating mixed-use development in a compact pedestrian friendly fashion. The centers are popular locations for Cary’s growing population of more than 22,000 elders due to their proximity to shopping, exercising, and socializing. These actions not only protect the environment by reducing air pollution, but also foster economic vitality and enhance everyone’s quality of life.

The town of Cary also received the Achievement Award, the top honor under the Building Healthy Communities for Active Aging awards, which recognizes communities for overall excellence in building healthy communities for active aging. The Town of Cary, N.C. is also one of this year’s two recipients. Cary has successfully promoted physical activity by placing importance on it and intentionally providing peer recognition and social support.

For more information about the annual Building Healthy Communities for Active Aging Awards visit:
http://www.epa.gov/aging/bhc/awards/2009/index.html