The Minneapolis park system is once again the country’s best, inching passed St. Paul, which took second place.
Last year the Twin Cities tied for the top spot in The Trust for Public Land’s ParkScore Index. This year’s index, released May 26, once again gave a perfect score to the Minneapolis park system.
Minneapolis scored above average in each of the index’s factors: access to parks, park size and park amenities. Nearly all — 95 percent — Minneapolitans live within a 10-minute walk of a park (compared to St. Paul’s 96 percent), but 15 percent of Minneapolis area is dedicated to parks, which have a median size of 6.5 acres (compared to 3.7 acres in St. Paul), the report said.
“We’re honored by the top ranking, but not resting on our laurels. We are working continuously to improve our parks, with a focus on the most racially diverse and economically challenged areas of the city,” said Jayne Miller, superintendent of the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, in a statement. “During the last five years, we have invested significantly in parks throughout the city but especially in north and upper south Minneapolis with new community centers, athletic fields and the first natural swimming pool in North America.”
The Trust for Public Land estimates that cities rated in the index increased parks spending by $1 per person on average this year.
“Cities are investing in park systems and that’s showing up on the ParkScore index. It is great news for public health, the environment, and local economies,” said Adrian Benepe, senior vice president and director of city park development for The Trust for Public Land.
An in-depth breakdown of each city’s park system is available at parkscore.tpl.org.
According to The Trust for Public Land, the 10 highest-ranking park systems in the United States are:
1. Minneapolis 5.0 park benches
2. Saint Paul 5.0 park benches
3. Washington, DC 5.0 park benches
4. Arlington, VA 4.5 park benches DEBUT YEAR
5. San Francisco 4.5 park benches
6. Portland, OR 4.5 park benches
7. New York 4.5 park benches
8. Irvine 4.5 park benches DEBUT YEAR
9. Boston 4.5 park benches
10. Cincinnati (tie) 4.0 park benches
10. Madison, WI (tie) 4.0park benches DEBUT YEAR
The 10 lowest-ranking park systems are:
89. Jacksonville (tie) 1.5 park benches
89. Oklahoma City (tie) 1.5 park benches
91. Hialeah (tie) 1.5 park benches DEBUT YEAR
91. Mesa, AZ (tie) 1.5 park benches
93. Louisville (tie) 1.5 park benches
93. Winston-Salem (tie) 1.5 park benches DEBUT YEAR
95. Charlotte (tie) 1.0 park benches
95. Indianapolis (tie) 1.0 park benches
97. Fresno 1.0 park benches
98. Fort Wayne, IN 1.0 park benches DEBUT YEAR