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July 2, 2013

Troy makes top 10 Family Circle best towns for families

By Terry Oparka
C & G Staff Writer

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Troy makes top 10 Family Circle best towns for families
Lead naturalist Debbie Williams guides the nature walk through the 100 acres at the Lloyd A. Stage Nature Center June 29.
Troy residents Jiri Kral and his son Jan, 4, peer over the railing of the bridge over the Rouge River at the Nature Center June 29. Family Circle magazine named Troy one of the top 10 best places to live in the country, in part for the natural green spaces in the city.
 

Family Circle magazine named Troy one of the top 10 best places for families to live in the country in the magazine’s seventh annual list of “10 Best Towns for Families.”

Troy is the only city in Michigan to be listed in the top 10.

Troy is listed with Allen, Texas; Boulder City, Nev.; Madison, Ala.; Marion, Iowa; Morton, Ill.; Rio Rancho, N.M.; Suwanee, Ga.; Upper Arlington, Ohio; and West Hartford, Conn. 

The magazine used research that Onboard Infomatics, a New York City research firm, gleaned from real estate, demographic and other data. From that, magazine staff compiled a list of 3,335 cities and towns with populations between 10,000 and 150,000.

The list was then winnowed to 1,000 municipalities with a high concentration of households with median incomes between $55,000 and $100,000. Magazine staff then assessed the places that met its family-friendly criteria — affordable homes, quality schools, access to health care, green space, low crime rates and financial stability — then ranked them from top to bottom.

The magazine article lists Troy’s median income as $90,411 and its median home price as $180,000. It stated that 36 percent of Troy households have kids, and it rated the schools as a 10: the highest score.

The article also lists “good deeds” under each city. For Troy, under “good deeds,” it states that Athens High School students raised more than $40,000 during Charity Week for Angels of Hope.

Family Circle writer Seema Nayyar interviewed Troy resident Jen Hilzinger for the story. The article states that when Hilzinger, her husband, Glen, and their children — Emily, 18, adopted from China, Ethan, 15, adopted from South Korea, and Elliot, 6 — aren’t busy with basketball and band, the family heads out to the 100-acre nature preserve at the Lloyd A. Stage Nature Center.

“We chose Troy for the diversity,” Hilzinger told the Troy Times.

Hilzinger praised the Troy School District and said she is grateful to be among families where education is a priority and that Emily could take Advanced Placement classes. “We appreciate the rigorous high school option, if that’s what they want,” she said.

Hilzinger will serve as co-facilitator for the Troy School District Diversity Inclusion Council, in its third year.

When Nayyar first called Cindy Stewart, community affairs director for Troy, six months ago and asked her for reasons why Troy is a great place for families and what sets Troy apart from other communities, Stewart had a lot of answers.

They included the Troy Family Aquatic Center, the Community Center, the Troy Historic Village, the nature center, good schools, 1,000 acres of parkland and the safety of the city.

“I read the magazine every month and always thought how great it would be for Troy to be included,” Stewart said. She added that she filled out a “tell us about your city” portion years ago, and never heard anything from the magazine until this past January. 

Nayyar writes, “Less crowding, concrete and stress, more serenity, nature and neighbors you can count on — that’s why Family Circle singled out these communities as perfect places to call home.”

The story will be published in the August edition of Family Circle magazine, on newsstands July 2.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Terry Oparka at toparka@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1054.