(April 13, 2010)

(April 13, 2010) Credit: Getty Images

Lynbrook Village has been named a finalist this year in the All-America City Awards contest, a first for the community of 20,000.

The South Shore village of one square mile was also the only place in New York State to rank among the 27 finalists.

The recognition that comes with the contest, run by the nonprofit National Civic League since 1949, credits localities ranging from a neighborhood to a metropolitan region whose members show an exemplary ability to work together to tackle challenges.

Ten All-America City winners will be announced in June in Kansas City, Mo. The last Long Island community to clinch an award was the Town of Huntington in 2002.

To become a finalist, Lynbrook officials drew attention to several public space improvements and policy initiatives that demonstrated civic engagement, progress and inclusiveness.

"We're not evaluating how city government makes decisions," said Mike McGrath, spokesman for the Denver-based National Civic League. "It's really the strength of the project that matters . . . that they're engaging the different sectors of the community."

Among Lynbrook's projects are renovations at Greis Park, including a new basketball court, and a bicycle path and a community garden scheduled to open next month, said Mayor Brian Curran.

"The members of the community gardens, about 35 families and residents . . . worked in putting the new items in there and cleaning up the area," he said.

Next month, the village plans to unveil a commuter plaza near the train station with benches, brick pavers and a clock tower.

To spur business growth, the village building department last year began to fast-track applications from new merchants for permits and variances.

The village has also passed laws to help veterans and seniors save money.

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