• Who We Are

    City Parks Blog is a joint effort of the Center for City Park Excellence at the Trust for Public Land and the City Parks Alliance to chronicle the news and issues of the urban park movement. Read more about us.
  • Urban Park Issues

  • Enter your email address to receive notifications of new City Parks Blog posts by email.

  • Archives

  • Urban Green Cover Ad

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

City Park Facts: The largest city parks

Many people often think of one of the most famous city parks, Central Park in New York City, as one the biggest. Nope.  Not even in the top 20 largest city parks.

The biggest city park in the 100 largest cities in the US is McDowell Sonoran Preserve in Scottsdale, Arizona, weighing in at 30,500 acres.

mcdowell-sonoran-photo

Photo by the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy

Below is a list of the top 18 city parks, along with links to their websites for additional information. (Note: if a park extends beyond the boundary of the city, only the acreage within the city is noted here.)

  1. McDowell Sonoran Preserve, Scottsdale: 30,500 acres. [friends group: McDowell Sonoran Conservancy]
  2. South Mountain Preserve, Phoenix: 16,306 acres.
  3. Sonoran Preserve, Phoenix: 9,487 acres.
  4. Cullen Park, Houston: 9,270 acres.
  5. Mission Trails Regional Park, San Diego: 6,932 acres.
  6. Jefferson Memorial Forest, Louisville: 6,218 acres.
  7. Lake Stanley Draper, Oklahoma City: 6,190 acres.
  8. Forest Park, Portland, Or: 5,172 acres. [friends group: Forest Park Forever]
  9. Lake Houston Wilderness Park, Houston: 4,787 acres.
  10. Shooting Range Park, Albuquerque: 4,596 acres.
  11. Eagle Creek Park, Indianapolis: 4,284 acres. [friends group: Eagle Creek Park Foundation]
  12. Griffith Park, Los Angeles: 4,282 acres.
  13. Loblolly Mitigation Preserve, Jacksonville: 4,201 acres.
  14. Mission Bay Park, San Diego: 4,108 acres.
  15. Far North Bicentennial Park, Anchorage: 3,924 acres. [friends group: Anchorage Park Foundation]
  16. Piestewa Park, Phoenix: 3,766 acres.
  17. Fort Worth Nature Center and Refuge, Fort Worth: 3,630 acres.
  18. Rio Grande Valley State Park, Albuquerque: 3,186 acres.

City Parks Facts 2017 will be released on April 19, 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 your 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

 

Some news from around…

  • Kids rally to save Rice Field Park in Des Moines. ABC 5 has the story about the kids and their organizer, an 11-year old who says the field is the heart of their community.
  • Archpaper covers the plans to redevelop 65 acres in the Port of San Francisco for recreational & commercial use.
  • Birds, people, fish and popcorn: Next American City shows us some photos of San Diego’s waterfront public art.
  • Reconstruction plan in Haiti designates space for  much-needed parks in Port-au-Prince (New York Times).
  • I like Ike. The Dirt reports on the just released designs for the Eisenhower Memorial, adjacent to the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
  • Business Improvement District plans to transform a Brooklyn parking lot into an art-themed park (NY Daily News).

San Diego Ponders Private Partner for Balboa Park

San Diego appears to be moving closer to establishing some form of a conservncy for the 1200-acre Balboa Park. An article in the San Diego Union Tribune references a newly released report and says the group could:

….attract new donations and take on tasks that the city’s parks department doesn’t already do – coordinate volunteers, for example, or manage the parking crunch, said committee Chairwoman Vicki Granowitz.

San Diego may take its script from St. Louis, whose Forest Park was just about as old, as large and as bedraggled as Balboa Park when the charity Forest Park Forever was founded in 1986. “Forest Park in St. Louis is the model,” Granowitz said, discarding another prominent example, New York’s Central Park Conservancy.“They are a middle-class community like San Diego is, and they have a mix of different kinds of institutions,” she said. “The other thing (about St. Louis) is the way in which the division of labor has worked out. Park and Rec keeps the things that Park and Rec is really good at, like taking care of landscaping lawns – not managing construction projects.”

An earlier report (the Center for City Park Excellence prepared this) laid out a set of options for the city to consider as it resolves how to improve the condition and maintenance backlog in the park. This report that further studied those options will go to the San Diego Park and Recreation Board in January and eventually to the City Council for possible action.