Webster Groves has made the national spotlight in the August issue of Family Circle magazine, now on newstands. The magazine has selected Webster Groves among its “10 Best Towns for Families: 2008.”

In early spring, Family Circle contacted Mayor Gerry Welch and City Manager Steve Wylie.

“We provided them with a great deal of information about the wonderful amenities of Webster Groves, from recreation to recycling to historic neighborhoods,” said Welch. “We also talked to them about our location and the advantages of easy access to so many family friendly regional attractions like the zoo and the baseball stadium.”

Family Circle conducted lengthy interviews with the Gowan and the Hanrahan families.

The experiences of these two families with recycling and historic home renovation were important factors in the selection of Webster Groves, according to the mayor.

“We are so excited to be included in the 10 best towns to raise a family. Now the almost four million readers of this magazine will know what we know: Webster Groves is the best place to call home.” Welch said.

The article’s introduction reads: “We searched the country to find perfect places to live and raise kids. This year’s winners offer more than affordable homes, great schools, and good neighbors. They’re also making smart moves to save the planet.”

Featured are Webster Groves residents Richard and Cathryn Gowan, who chose a “grand and beautiful” 1889 Victorian home 10 years ago over purchase or construction of a new home. Despite many fixer-up projects over the years, the Gowans have no regrets.

“... A new place wouldn’t have the character our house has,” Richard is quoted as saying.

In addition to the community’s stock of well-maintained, century-owned homes and landmark buildings, the article also makes mention of Webster’s many beautiful trees.

Also noted in the article was the city’s effort toward recycling with implementation of its single stream curbside recycling program.

To execute the study, Family Circle partnered with On Board, a New York City research firm providing real estate and demographic data, to assemble a list of 1,850 places with populations between 15,000 and 150,000 and a high concentration of households with an average income of $65,000.

From that, 800 localities were selected based on family-friendly criteria, including cost of living, jobs and schools. Family Circle also looked for “green” communities with good environmental policies and a high percentage of residents who recycle. Family Circle assessed which towns best met those standards and ranked them according to state. The winners were selected from the highest-rated towns in the top 10 states nationwide.

The 10 Best Towns for Families are: Ankeny, Iowa; Broken Arrow, Okla.; Brunswick, Ohio; Oro Valley, Ariz.; Rocklin, Calif.; Royal Palm Beach, Fla.; Shoreview, Minn.; South Burlington, Vt.; Webster Groves, Mo.; Wheeling, Ill.