File photo of Houghton Park.
Long Beach ranked in the top 25 in the Trust for Public Land’s 2017 ParkScore index (earning 3.5 “park benches”) which released its rankings today after analyzing the 100 largest cities across the U.S., it was announced.
Long Beach tied six other cities, including Las Vegas, Oakland and San Jose for 24th, leading all area cities in park access, with 81 percent of residents living within a 10-minute walk of a park, above the ParkScore average of 66 percent, according to the release.
“Everyone in America deserves to live within a 10-minute walk of a park,” Charlie McCabe, director of The Trust for Public Land’s Center for City Parks Excellence, said in a statement. “Parks are proven to improve physical and mental health, increase property values, and bring neighbors together to nurture the personal bonds that make our communities special.”
The number of dog parks and recreation and senior centers also earned the city high marks. However, the small median park size of 3 acres, compared to the national ParkScore average of 5 acres, dropped down the city’s overall ranking.
Long Beach dropped down two spots compared to its ranking last year of 22nd. Los Angeles also dropped below last year’s markings, from 65th in the nation to 74th, Irvine ranked 7th, one step above 2016’s ranking and Anaheim came in at 63rd.
A city’s ParkScore is based on Park Access, which measures the percentage of residents living within a half-mile walk of a park, Park Size, which is based on a city’s median park size and percentage of total are dedicated to park space and Facilities and Investment, combining park spending per resident with the availability of basketball hoops, off-leash dog parks, playgrounds and recreation and senior centers.
Irvine’s parks budget of $252 per resident earned the city a strong ParkScore, while Long Beach spending per resident was noted at $204.62 per resident.
In addition to ranking park systems, ParkScore also provides a one-to-five “park bench” rating summary, providing a snapshot of the quality of local parks. The cities that received the highest possible 5-bench rating this year were Minneapolis, Saint Paul and San Francisco.
“You can’t have a great city without a great park system,” Adrian Benepe, senior vice president and director of City Park Development for The Trust for Public Land, said in a statement. “Our top-ranked park systems are terrific, but all cities have room to improve. ParkScore is a tool that city leaders can use to guide park improvement, helping planners identify where they should focus their efforts, so more residents can live within a 10-minute walk of a well-planned and well-maintained park.”
For more information about Long Beach’s ranking, visit the webpage here. To learn more about The Trust for Public Land visit the website here. Visit the City of Long Beach’s Parks, Recreation and Marine website for a directory of parks and facilities.