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City park facts: Parks per 10,000 residents by city

If you are familiar with the work for the Trust for Public Land and the Center for City Park Excellence, you know that we focus a lot on the percentage of a city’s population that is within a 10-minute walk to a park.  We highlight this in Parkscore, the 2017 results will be announced on May 24th.

Prior to the introduction of Parkscore five years ago, we focused instead on parks per 1,000 residents by city or parks acreage per 10,000 residents by city, as well as variations with daytime occupants. We’ll share these in the next few posts, but you can find all of the information by downloading the 2017 edition of City Park Facts.

Here are the top 25 cities with the most parks per 10,000 residents by city:

  1. Madison: 282 parks or 11.6 parks per 10,000 residents.
  2. Arlington, VA: 210 parks or 9.2 parks per 10,000 residents.
  3. Cincinnati: 272 parks or 8.9 parks per 10,000 residents.
  4. Atlanta: 405 parks or 8.9 parks per 10,000 residents.
  5. St. Petersburg: 218 parks or 8.6 parks per 10,000 residents.
  6. Las Vegas: 512 parks or 8.2 parks per 10,000 residents.
  7. Buffalo: 208 parks or 8.0 parks per 10,000 residents.
  8. St. Paul: 223 parks or 7.5 parks per 10,000 residents.
  9. Anchorage: 228 parks or 7.5 parks per 10,000 residents.
  10. Pittsburgh: 214 parks or 6.9 parks per 10,000 residents.
  11. Norfolk: 168 parks or 6.8 parks per 10,000 residents.
  12. Seattle: 457 parks or 6.8 parks per 10,000 residents.
  13. Lincoln: 188 parks or 6.8 parks per 10,000 residents.
  14. Baltimore: 421 parks or 6.8 parks per 10,000 residents.
  15. Virgina Beach: 298 parks or 6.6 parks per 10,000 residents.
  16. Boston: 419 parks or 6.5 parks per 10,000 residents.
  17. Greensboro: 178 parks or 6.3 parks per 10,000 residents.
  18. Corpus Christi: 203 parks or 6.2 parks per 10,000 residents.
  19. Washington, DC: 409 parks or 6.2 parks per 10,000 residents.
  20. New Orleans: 239 parks or 6.2 parks per 10,000 residents.
  21. Boise: 133 parks or 6.0 parks per 10,000 residents.
  22. Denver: 384 parks or 5.7 parks per 10,000 residents.
  23. Omaha: 248 parks or 5.6 parks per 10,000 residents.
  24. Portland, OR: 334 parks or 5.4 parks per 10,000 residents.
  25. Tampa: 192 parks or 5.3 parks per 10,000 residents.

Questions, comments? email us at ccpe@tpl.org

How many acres of parks are there in the 100 largest US cities?

We’re glad you asked!  There are over two2 million acres of parkland in the 100 largest cities, which collectively contain twenty percent of the population of the United States.

2017-CPF-acreage

Further, these one hundred cities combined have a total of 11,455,651 acres, which means that the 2,055,324 acres of parks are 5.57 percent of the total acreage of those one hundred cities.

In the new 2017 City Park Facts report, we look at parkland in a number of ways, including:

  • Parkland by city and agency (pp. 4-10)
  • Parkland as a percentage of adjusted city area (p. 11)
  • Parkland per 1,000 residents by city (p. 12)
  • Parkland per 1,000 daytime occupants by city (p. 13)
  • Parks per 10,000 residents by city (p 14)

You can download this report for free on the Trust for Public Land website.

The Center for City Park Excellence is part of The Trust for Public Land, which creates parks and protects land for people. You can contact us at ccpe@tpl.org.

The Importance of volunteers in parks, continued.

By Charlie McCabe

Last week, as part of our press release for the 2017 edition of City Park Facts, we touted a number of examples covering the growing role and importance of volunteers in parks in the 100 largest US city park systems. Given that we’re nearing the end of National Volunteer Week (Apr 23-29), we wanted to add another post in what will be an ongoing series on volunteers working in parks.

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Volunteers planning bulbs on the Rose Kennedy Greenway, Boston

Today, we’ll take a quick look at how park conservancies are working with volunteers. As part of a master’s thesis in 2016, I looked at what were the best practices of organizing and managing a volunteer program. I studied nine different parks conservancies in Austin, Boston, Brooklyn and Houston. I found a number of common practices and methods used, which we’ll cover in a future set of posts.  But, like our findings on the impact of volunteer in our 100 largest US cities, I found substantial impact for these nine park conservancies.

First, it’s very important to stress that all of these organizations work in partnership with their local park agencies to achieve mutual goals. As Doreen Stoller, Executive Director of the Hermann Park Conservancy noted in our 2015 publication, Public Parks/Private Money: “the City of Houston has allowed Hermann Park Conservancy to perform many duties on its behalf. But we can’t lose sight of the fact that our work is ‘on its behalf.’”

So, what’s the impact?  I looked at five years worth of data from each of the park conservancies.  The results are impressive.

  • In 2012, 12,250 volunteers donated 44,668 hours worth $1.04M or 21.47 FTEs
  • in 2013, 16,836 volunteers donated 49,767 hours worth $1.21M or 23.9 FTEs
  • In 2014, 15,426 volunteers donated 53,688 hours worth $1.34M or 25.81 FTEs
  • In 2015, 16,098 volunteers donated 59,461 hours worth $1.55M or 28.58 FTEs
  • In 2016, 18,727 volunteers donated 67,541 hours worth $1.75M or 32.47 FTEs

Overall, during the five year period, 79,337 volunteers donated 275,125 hours worth $6.9M.

(The value of hours is calculated using data collected by Independent Sector, a non-profit that calculates the annual hourly value of donated labor by state. FTE stands for full-time equivalent or one person working fulltime, calculated as 2,080 hours a year or 40 hours per week times 52 weeks in a year.)

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Tree mulching demonstration at the start of volunteer workday, Pease Park, Austin.

In future posts, we’ll get into the details of what tasks volunteers tackle, how these non-profits organize and manage their volunteer programs, how they work with park agency and park conservancy staff and a host of other topics, including the origin of volunteers in our parks.

Further, one of our efforts in the coming year at the Center for City Park Excellence will be looking at park conservancies and their continued impacts alongside parks agencies in the 100 largest cities, we working to get a more complete picture of what all non-profits working in parks contribute in terms of funds, volunteer hours and “on the ground” work.

Note: The nine park conservancies studied in my thesis were: the Austin Parks Foundation, the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy, the Emerald Necklace Conservancy, the Fort Greene Park Conservancy, the Hermann Park Conservancy, the Hill Country Conservancy (for the Violet Crown Trail, specifically) the Pease Park Conservancy, the Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy, and the Trail Foundation.

The Center for City Park Excellence is part of The Trust for Public Land, which creates parks and protects land for people. You can contact us at ccpe@tpl.org.

 

City park facts: Virgina Beach has five top ten rankings in 2017

Virginia Beach Parks and Recreation has five top ten rankings in the 2017 edition of City Park Facts

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The Trust for Public Land’s Center for City Park Excellence works to make cities more successful through the renewal and creation of parks for their social, ecological, and economic benefits to residents and visitors alike. To achieve this mission, we believe that residents, advocates, park professionals, planners, members of the media, decision-makers, and all those who love parks need solid data that elucidates the realities of urban park and recreation systems. Data is knowledge, and knowledge is power.

Virginia Beach is one the 100 largest US cities and ranked number 3 overall in the 2016 edition of Parkscore.  But, more exciting is its individual rankings in five out of the twenty categories that we are tracking:

  • #5 (tie) – 4.2 Playgrounds per 10,000 residents
  • #2 – 3.1 Beaches per 100,000 residents (14)
  • #7 (4-way tie) – 1.1 Nature centers per 100,000 residents (5)
  • #8– 0.8 Pickleball courts per 20,000 residents (18)
  • #9– 3.5 Tennis courts per 10,000 residents (161)

City Park Facts is a collaboration between the many city, county, state and nonprofit parks agencies and conservancies that work with us to submit their data and we appreciate their continued help and involvement. The staff of the Center for City Park Excellence works to present this information in a thorough yet easy-to-use format, and your feedback is important for future editions. You can contact us at ccpe@tpl.org.

The Trust for Public Land creates parks and protects land for people, ensuring healthy, livable communities for generations to come.  Millions of people live near a Trust for Public Land park, garden, or natural area, and millions more visit these sites every year.  To support The Trust for Public Land and share why nature matters to you, visit www.tpl.org.

 

 

City park facts: Washington DC has five top ten rankings in 2017

Parks in Washington, DC  has five top ten rankings in the 2017 edition of City Park Facts. Parks are operated and maintained by variety of agencies, including the DC Department of Parks and Recreation, the National Park Service and a number of non-profit organizations.

The Trust for Public Land’s Center for City Park Excellence works to make cities more successful through the renewal and creation of parks for their social, ecological, and economic benefits to residents and visitors alike. To achieve this mission, we believe that residents, advocates, park professionals, planners, members of the media, decision-makers, and all those who love parks need solid data that elucidates the realities of urban park and recreation systems. Data is knowledge, and knowledge is power.

Omaha is one the 100 largest US cities and ranked number 3 overall in the 2016 edition of Parkscore.  But, more exciting is its individual rankings in five out of the twenty categories that we are tracking:

  • #3 (tie) – 97% of population within a 10-minute walk to a park
  • #3 – 2.3 Recreation/Senior Centers per 20,000 residents (75)
  • #2 – 3.5 Community Garden Plots per 1,000 residents (2300)
  • #4 – 5.3 Swimming pools per 100,000 residents (35)
  • #10 – 3.6 Splash pads per 100,000 residents (24)

City Park Facts is a collaboration between the many city, county, state and nonprofit parks agencies and conservancies that work with us to submit their data and we appreciate their continued help and involvement. The staff of the Center for City Park Excellence works to present this information in a thorough yet easy-to-use format, and your feedback is important for future editions. You can contact us at ccpe@tpl.org.

The Trust for Public Land creates parks and protects land for people, ensuring healthy, livable communities for generations to come.  Millions of people live near a Trust for Public Land park, garden, or natural area, and millions more visit these sites every year.  To support The Trust for Public Land and share why nature matters to you, visit www.tpl.org.