The City of Kennesaw has achieved many noteworthy recognitions.

2014: Kennesaw was named in the Top Ten of the 50 safest cities in Georgia with populations of 5,000 or more as of 2012, according to home security company SafeWise. The company compiles the list to help families figure out which cities and towns are the safest and best by pouring over the most recent FBI Crime in the U.S. Report and combining those statistics with their own research. Kennesaw placed tenth on the list.


2013: Kennesaw is recognized by the National League of Cities' Let's Move! Cities, Towns and Counties (LMCTC), a major component of First Lady Michelle Obama's initiative dedicated to solving the childhood obesity epidemic within a generation. Kennesaw placed 8th in the nation using the National League of Cities (NLC) guidelines by achieving significant milestones in improving physical activity and healthy eating and was awarded nine medals for best practices in meeting health and wellness goals.

The City of Kennesaw earned 4th place in the medium-sized companies division of the Atlanta Business Chronicle's Atlanta's Healthiest Employers Awards. Healthiest Employers collects, measures, and compares corporate wellness data worldwide.

Smith-Gilbert Gardens has been approved for Level II accreditation through the ArbNet Program.

2012 Fit City Kennesaw, a community wide program to encourage and empower participants to combat obesity and inactivity and improve their quality of life, is launched. The initiative promotes nutrition, exercise, and stress reduction and offers fit-friendly events throughout the year including six 5K road races along with other events promoting an active lifestyle.

Kennesaw's Swift-Cantrell Park has been awarded a $15,000 grant through the America Is Your Park contest, which was sponsored by The Coca Cola Company. Almost three million votes were cast for Swift-Cantrell, placing it among the top five finishers in the contest.

The City of Kennesaw's Police Department earns re-accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA).

The City of Kennesaw gains certification as a Silver Level Green Community by the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) Board.

Smith Gilbert Gardens was awarded a Level I Accreditation through the ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program and is now recognized amongst other professional public gardens in the Morton Register of Arboreta, a database of 500 tree-focused public gardens. ArbNet is an interactive community that supports professional exchange and collaboration.

2011: The Georgia Recreation and Parks Association (GRPA) named the City of Kennesaw Parks & Recreation Department 2011 Agency of the Year for cities with a population of 20,000-30,000.  The award recognizes outstanding contributions in the delivery of parks, recreation and leisure services in the state of Georgia.

The City of Kennesaw was certified as a Bronze Level Green Community by the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) Board. The Green Communities Program is a voluntary certification program which encourages local governments to become more sustainable.  ARC developed the program to assist cities and counties in implementing policies and practices that reduce their overall environmental impact.

The Southern Museum of Civil War & Locomotive History celebrated its 10th anniversary as a prestigious member of the Smithsonian Institution Affiliations program on December 3, 2011. The Museum hosted a small ceremony to mark the occasion and was awarded a special plaque by a Smithsonian representative to commemorate the anniversary.

2010:  The annual Pigs & Peaches BBQ Festival was named one of the Top 25 BBQ Events/Festivals in the US by the Kansas City Barbecue Society.  Pigs & Peaches is the KCBS-sanctioned championship for the state of Georgia.

2009Kennesaw was selected as one of the "Top 25 Cities and Towns with the Best American Values" in the May 2009 edition of Newsmax Magazine.  In choosing Kannesaw, the editors cited the city's excellent school systems, low crime rate, air quality, green spaces and easily accessible family-friendly activities.

The City of Kennesaw's Police Department was granted accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA). CALEA is a national organization formed to develop professionally-recognized standards for excellence in law enforcement management and service. CALEA has established a process for agencies to demonstrate that they meet the standards. Earning accreditation is voluntary and involves an intense examination of all aspects of law enforcement, including what is being done and how it is being done.

The city was recognized as a Platinum-Level Start! Fit-Friendly Employer by the American Heart Association's Start! movement for helping employees eat better and move more.  A voluntary comprehensive wellness program offered to the city staff encourages and rewards a healthy lifestyle.


2008: The city was designated a Tree City USA community by the Arbor Day Foundation. This designation recognizes cities and towns that plant and care for the community forest. It is sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation in cooperation with the National Association of State Foresters and the USDA Forest Service. 


2007: Kennesaw was selected by Family Circle Magazine as one of the nation's "10 Best Towns for Families." The article appeared in the magazine's August 2007 edition.  The publication announced the results of its search to identify the best communities across the country that combine big-city opportunities with suburban charm, a blend of affordable housing, good jobs, top-rated schools, wide-open spaces and a lot less stress.  Family Circle is a monthly magazine with a circulation of 3.9 million and has approximately 20 million readers.


2004: Kennesaw was designated a Preserve America Community by First Lady Laura Bush. The Preserve America program is a White House effort to encourage and support community efforts for the preservation and enjoyment of America’s priceless cultural and natural heritage.  This program recognizes and designates communities that protect and celebrate their heritage, use their historic assets for economic development and community revitalization, and encourage people to experience and appreciate local historic resources through education and heritage tourism programs.  

Did You Know?

Swift-Cantrell is the City’s largest community park at 42 acres.
  • Classes at Smith-Gilbert Gardens offer gardening pointers to adults & kids.

  • Kennesaws proud heritage is honored and remembered on the grounds of the City Cemetery.

  • Kennesaw Parks & Recreation will get you moving toward improved fitness and health.

  • Morning dog walking is invigorating and enjoyable at Swift-Cantrell Park.

  • City officials and business owners cut the ribbon to showcase a new opening.

  • Police officers start the recruiting process early.

  • Shop at our Farmers Market for fresh produce, baked goods & other items from May-October.

  • Mayor Mathews invites future community leaders to participate in City Council meetings.

  • The Police Honor Guard is specially trained to represent the department at formal functions.

  • The Civil War era comes to life at the Southern Museum and in annual battle re-enactments.

  • The annual Pigs & Peaches BBQ Festival features a Kansas City BBQ Society sanctioned contest.

  • Gather your paints brushes or camera and get inspired at Smith-Gilbert Gardens.

  • Enthusiastic and dedicated staff provide first-rate support of the citys trails, parks and facilities.

  • Hundreds of volunteers maintain the beautiful flora at the 16 acre Smith-Gilbert Gardens.

  • The Citys two community parks offer families hours of recreation and relaxation.

  • Children celebrate Arbor Day by planting a tree in the Garden at Swift-Cantrell Park.

  • Kennesaw Mountain Battlefield Park offers a bird-eye view of the city and surrounding area.

  • A new pedestrian underpass provides safe passage between Main St. and the Depot.

  • The City offers free wireless internet in parks & city facilities.

  • The Annual Big Shanty Festival features crafts, food, & shows attracting over 50,000 visitors.