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Top 20 U.S. Cities for Parks…Seattle ties at #12…

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Marilyn Lewis
www.MSN.com
In its 2017 ParkScores report, the Trust ranked the 100 largest U.S. cities’ parks based on four factors — acreage, facilities and investment, and access. Each city was assigned a score out of 100 possible points. School grounds that are formally open to the public counted as parks, as did greenways that function as parks. The Trust said it tried to balance a community’s commitment to parks in a way that didn’t imply award points to the wealthiest towns.

Here, first, are the top 20 cities for parks, starting at number 20, with a few of the many statistics used in scoring including the annual spending on parks per resident.


1. Minneapolis
ParkScore: 87.5
Park acreage: 5,064 acres
Park land as a percentage of city area: 15.0 percent
Spending per resident: $232.59

The Trust for Public Land has ranked Minneapolis No. 1 for its parks since 2013 (supplanting San Francisco), in part owing to the development of parks and public spaces in its historical mill and warehouse area along the banks of the Mississippi River in the past two decades. Many of the lakes that dot the city are also surrounded by public parks.


2. St. Paul, Minnesota
ParkScore: 82.5
Park acreage: 4,937 acres
Park land as percentage of city area: 15.0 percent
Spending per resident: $202.12

3. San Francisco
ParkScore: 82.5
Park acreage: 4,937 acres
Park land as percentage of city area: 15.0 percent
Spending per resident: $202.12

4. Washington, D.C.
ParkScore: 79
Park acreage: 8,525 acres
Park land as a percentage of city area: 22.0 percent
Spending per resident: $269.98

The nation’s capital is, of course, peppered with stunning parks, many of them surrounding national monuments. It also boasts Rock Creek Park — a 1,700 acre oasis in the center of the district with large natural areas for hiking and exploring as well as a zoo, amphitheater, horseback riding and historical sites.


5. Portland, Oregon
ParkScore: 82.5
Park acreage: 4,937 acres
Park land as percentage of city area: 15.0 percent
Spending per resident: $202.12

6. Arlington, Virginia
ParkScore: 76.5
Park acreage: 1,787 acres
Park land as a percentage of city area: 11.0 percent
Spending per resident: $229.93


7. Irvine, California (2-way tie)
ParkScore: 82.5
Park acreage: 4,937 acres
Park land as percentage of city area: 15.0 percent
Spending per resident: $202.12

8. New York City (2-way tie)
ParkScore: 74.0
Park acreage: 39,859 acres
Park land as a percentage of city area: 21.0 percent
Spending per resident: $178.63

Manhattan’s Central Park

(seen above) is an astonishing 843 acres of public park space with a history of more than 150 years. It accommodates a wide array of recreational activities, including walking, biking, boating, baseball game and ice skating as well as events from picnics to weddings. Within its perimeter are dozens of bridges, a reservoir, a zoo and a garden conservatory.


9. Madison, Wisconsin
ParkScore: 73.5
Park acreage: 6,372 acres
Park land as a percentage of city area: 13.0 percent
Spending per resident: $126.30

10. Cincinnati
ParkScore: 71.5
Park acreage: 6,891 acres
Park land as a percentage of city area: 14.0 percent
Spending per resident: $190.79

11. Chicago, (2-way tie)
ParkScore: 71.5
Park acreage: 6,891 acres
Park land as a percentage of city area: 14.0 percent
Spending per resident: $190.79


12. Seattle (2-way tie)
ParkScore: 71.5
Park acreage: 6,891 acres
Park land as a percentage of city area: 14.0 percent
Spending per resident: $190.79

13. Boston
ParkScore: 71.5
Park acreage: 6,891 acres
Park land as a percentage of city area: 14.0 percent
Spending per resident: $190.79

14. San Diego
ParkScore: 71.5
Park acreage: 6,891 acres
Park land as a percentage of city area: 14.0 percent
Spending per resident: $190.79

15. Aurora, Colorado
ParkScore: 71.5
Park acreage: 6,891 acres
Park land as a percentage of city area: 14.0 percent
Spending per resident: $190.79

16. St. Petersburg, Florida
ParkScore: 71.5
Park acreage: 6,891 acres
Park land as a percentage of city area: 14.0 percent
Spending per resident: $190.79

17. Albuquerque, New Mexico (3-way tie)
ParkScore: 71.5
Park acreage: 6,891 acres
Park land as a percentage of city area: 14.0 percent
Spending per resident: $190.79

18. Plano, Texas (3-way tie)
ParkScore: 65.0
Park acreage: 4,275 acres
Park land as a percentage of city area: 9.0 percent
Spending per resident: $147.23


19. St. Louis (3-way tie)
ParkScore: 65.0
Park acreage: 3,721 acres
Park land as a percentage of city area: 10 percent
Spending per resident: $271.14


20. Denver
ParkScore: 65.0
Park acreage: 3,721 acres
Park land as a percentage of city area: 10 percent
Spending per resident: $271.14

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