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How well does your city provide access to parks?

Recent study finds cities that have most parks within walking distance

Courtesy of Pexels
Courtesy of Pexels

How far of a walk is it to your local park, in order for you to have a nice walk in the park? 

The Trust for Public Land recently analyzed the 100 largest cities in the United States for how well they provide access to public parks and recreation.

So, which city was the big winner? 

It was, drum roll please, Minneapolis, Minnesota with a final overall ParkScore of 84.2.

Right behind was neighbor city St. Paul, Minnesota, which scored an 82.4. 

Rounding out the top-5 were Washington, D.C. (81.9), Arlington, Virginia (81.6) and San Francisco (79.6).

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Orlando was 46th at 49.9, Miami was 50th at 48.1, San Antonio was 67th at 42.0, Houston came in at 77th at 37.5, Jacksonville was 85th with a 34.5 rating, while Detroit was 88th at 33.8. 

According to an article in the New York Times, 96 percent of people who live in Minneapolis reside within a 10-minute walk of a park, while 98 percent of people in St. Paul have that luxury. 

Why is it all such a big deal though?

The article in the New York Times went on to say that it’s no coincidence that Minneapolis-St. Paul is also ranked the healthiest urban region in the country, despite some teeth-rattling winter weather. 

Parks not only have physical and mental health benefits for people who love to exercise, but also help reduce violent crimes and can be good for the environment. 

The article said that the trust has partnered with the National Recreation and Parks Association and Urban Land Institute to bring more parks to cities that will be within short walking distances for their residents.

More than 220 mayors have signed on to support the project, according to the article. 

So, how long of a walk to your local park do you have? If cities around the country get serious with this initiative, it could be a lot shorter soon. 


About the Author:

Keith is a member of Graham Media Group's Digital Content Team, which produces content for all the company's news websites.