The City of Manning received a Municipal Achievement Award for Gibbons Street Park. Officials were accepted the award during the Municipal Association of South Carolina's 74th Annual Meeting on July 12. The town won in the 1,001 - 5,000 population category. Twenty-six cities and towns submitted their projects and initiatives.  
Manning City Council made it a priority to create recreational outlets across the city. With this initiative in mind, a group of residents urged council to convert a dilapidated, private recreational/baseball facility into a park in an area of the city without one.
Through the effort of multiple partnerships, the property became the Gibbons Street Park, a state-of-the-art facility providing a safe and secure green space. The park is an 1800 square-foot facility that includes storage and restrooms and a large, fenced playground. It can also host parties and corporate events.
City officials collaborated on the project with the Clarendon Junior Chamber of Commerce, Clarendon County and the local business community. Each of the three entities involved provided funding, as well as fundraising efforts that included oyster roasts, raffles and individual donations.
Manning residents can look forward to a walking track, free Wi-Fi access and additional playground equipment in the near future.
"Gibbons Street Park is a great example of local officials increasing the quality of life in an already great town," said Miriam Hair, executive director for the Municipal Association.
These winning entries represent innovative projects undertaken by Municipal Association member cities and towns. More information and a video about the project are available on the Association's website.  
The Municipal Association of South Carolina initiated the Achievement Awards in 1987 to recognize and encourage innovations and excellence in local government.