Carbondale has been selected as one of "11 Great Places You've (Maybe) Never Heard Of" by Mother Earth News: The Original Guide to Living Wisely.

Carbondale was selected along with towns including, Walla Walla, Wash.; Bonners Ferry, Idaho; Rock Port, Mo.; and Sylva, N.C.

In its October/November 2009 edition, the magazine chose Carbondale based on its small-town appeal and its overall balance of offerings.

The magazine said, "Carbondale is filled with independent stores and markets including book and music stores; a natural foods cooperative; two farmers markets; and several local wineries. The town also has a couple of options in local papers; and even features a community owned radio station. The magazine also cited Carbondale's proximity to 300,000 acres of wilderness in the Shawnee National Forest, a regional jewel that is only 10 minutes from town, which offers "some of the best rock climbing available."

Southern Illinois University Carbondale was central to the honor too, a magazine spokeswoman said.

Mother Earth News interviewed Francis Murphy, general manager for Neighborhood Co-op Grocery in Carbondale, about the significance of the town and its prized school of higher learning.

Murphy said, "The university has a huge cultural impact on everything from music to the arts to the speakers who come to town. We get a diversity of experience that normally wouldn't be found in a town this size."

The university also brings unique recognition to the community because of its leadership in small town life, putting forward one of the oldest student-run film festivals in the country.

Mother Earth News bills itself as the most popular and longest-running, sustainable-lifestyle magazine. It provides wide-ranging editorial coverage of organic and whole foods, green transportation, eco-friendly products, renewable energy, natural health and green building.

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