Long Beach has risen to number 21 among the 100 largest U.S. cities in the Trust for Public Land’s (TPL) 2018 ParkScore Index survey, the city announced last week. Last year, Long Beach placed 24th in a tie with six other cities, including Las Vegas and Oakland. In 2016, the city ranked 22nd.
The TPL report ranks parks based on access, the percentage of residents who have a park within a half-mile of their home, the city’s median park size and the percentage of total city area dedicated to parks, and city park spending per resident, according to the release.
Mayor Robert Garcia commended Long Beach Parks, Recreation and Marine by stating the ranking is a testament to their efforts.
“Our Parks, Recreation, and Marine Department staff work hard every day to provide leisure programs, maintain parks, beaches and marinas, and to add and improve recreational open space areas,” Garcia said in a statement.
The city’s rise in ranking was attributed to its walkable park access, where 81 percent of residents live within a 10-minute walk to a park. Also mentioned was the city’s investment—at $208 per resident—in parks and recreation, compared to the national median of $105. Long Beach also stood out in the TPL report for its number of senior centers and off-leash dog recreation areas.
In recent months, the parks, recreation and marine department has opened three artificial turf sports fields, multiple greenbelts, broken ground on a new 6,500-square-foot community center, opened a new 12-acre wetlands, with the new 34-acre DeForest Wetlands project soon to open, stated Interim Director Stephen Scott.
“Our park system is part of what provides a great quality of life in the City of Long Beach,” Scott said in a statement.
For more information about ParkScore, visit the website here.
Asia Morris is a Long Beach native covering arts and culture for the Long Beach Post. You can reach her on Twitter and Instagram @theasiamorris and via email at [email protected]
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