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City park facts: largest regional and county parks in 100 largest cities

Continuing our City Park Facts series – here’s the top ten largest regional and county parks in the 100 US cities.

  1. George Bush Park, Houston: 8,043
  2. Longview Lake Park, Kansas City: 3,308
  3. Shelby Farms Park, Memphis: 3,200 [the park is operated by a conservancy]
  4. Bear Creek Park, Houston: 3,067
  5. Calero County Park, San Jose: 2,474
  6. Mission Creek Regional Preserve, Fremont: 2,086
  7. Percy Warner Park, Nashville: 1,978 [friends of warner parks]
  8. Smith and Bybee Wetlands Natual Area, Portland: 1,837
  9. American River Parkway, Sacramento: 1,746 [friends gtoup: American River Parkway Foundation]
  10. Tijuana River Valley Regional Park, San Diego: 1,710

City Parks Facts 2017 will be released on April 20, 2017 at www.tpl.org.

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 involvment. The staff of the Center for City Park Excellence at the Trust for Public Land 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

Follow our new twitter feed @CityParkFacts

The continued rise of skate parks

dlxskateshop

The Dish at Hilltop Park in San Francisco

Skate parks remain one of the fastest growing park facilities in the 100 largest US cities. Over 141 skate parks have been constructed since we started surveying city parks departments about them in 2010. There are 365 now, with 30 opening in the past year. That’s an 8 percent increase over 2016.

In terms of total numbers, Los Angeles has the most with 35, with New York City in second place with 25 and San Antonio rounding out third with 15. In terms of our standardized “per 100,000 resident” counts that we use in City Park Facts, however, Chula Vista, California is #1 with 3 skate parks per 100,000 residents, Sacramento close behind with 2.7 and Henderson, Nevada with 2.5.

Skate parks are expensive to build, but are built to last with highly specialized construction requirements. The Tony Hawk Foundation helps many cities fund skate park design and construction. They report that over 572 skateparks have received funding and that those parks see over 5.5 million visits annually.[1] The Trust for Public Land, working with San Francisco Recreation and Parks, recently completed a revitalization of Hilltop Park, which includes the famous Dish skate park, in San Francisco.

More importantly, skate parks serve a niche of pre-teen and teens that are often under served by city parks and recreation departments. Further, they are often “self-governing” with friends groups organizing around times of day for skaters of different abilities to ride and keeping the parks organized and safe.

Learn more about City Park trends in the 2017 edition of City Park Facts, coming in April to tpl.org.  You can reach the City for City Park Excellence with questions or comments at ccpe@tpl.org

More skate park projects from The Trust for Public Land:

Watts Serenity Park (2015) – A packed house for park’s debut in Watts

Hilltop Park (2015) – New life for a skateboarding landmark

[1] – Tony Hawk Foundation website: http://tonyhawkfoundation.org/