Sacramento ranks 3rd in Nation for Parks

Today Sacramento was recognized for having one of the best park systems in the nation. The Trust for Public Land releases 2013 ParkScore® Index, Rating Park Systems in 50 Largest U.S. Cities.

ParkScore ratings are based equally on three factors: Park access, which measures the percentage of residents living within a 10-minute walk of a park (approximately 1/2-mile); Park size, which is based on a city’s median park size and the percentage of total city area dedicated to parks; and Services and investment, which combines the number of playgrounds per 10,000 city residents and per capita park spending.

What’s interesting in this story to me is the recognition that open spaces, in this instance that means parks, are important to the quality of life in a city. We need places to play, gather with friends, walk, run, and even bike. Whether its a park with green manicured grass and play structures or a dirt trail, open spaces serve a vital role. As a nation of people we are generally unhealthy and increasingly spending more time indoors. Changing the trend is vital. Having parks and other types of open spaces nearby where people live will enable individuals to more easily choose healthier activities outside. Personally, I find that’s true in my own life. El Dorado Hills changed my life and that of my family for the better. Perhaps I’ll explain that in greater detail in another post later.

Check out what the El Dorado Hills Community Services District has going on with our great parks in the area.

From the press release:

Physical inactivity is a major contributor to the obesity epidemic and a risk factor for many serious and preventable chronic diseases,” said William H. Dietz, MD, PhD, a pediatrician who recently served as Director of the Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Improving access to places to play is a proven strategy for increasing activity that all municipal leaders should embrace. Parks improve health and prevent disease,” Dietz said.

According to The Trust for Public Land, the 10 highest-ranking city park systems in the United States are:

1. Minneapolis 5.0 park benches
2. New York 4.5 park benches
3. Boston (tie) 4.0 park benches
3. Sacramento (tie) 4.0 park benches
3. San Francisco 4.0 park benches
6. Washington, DC 4.0 park benches
7. Portland 4.0 park benches
8. Virginia Beach 4.0 park benches
9. San Diego 4.0 park benches
10. Seattle 4.0 park benches

The 13 lowest-ranking city park systems are:

38. Houston (tie) 2.0 park benches
38. Miami (tie) 2.0 park benches
38. Nashville (tie) 2.0 park benches
38. Tucson (tie) 2.0 park benches
42. Memphis 1.5 park benches
43. Oklahoma City 1.5 park benches
44. Jacksonville (tie) 1.5 park benches
44. San Antonio (tie) 1.5 park benches
46. Mesa, AZ 1.5 park benches
47. Indianapolis (tie) 1.0 park benches
47. Indianapolis (tie) 1.0 park benches
47. Charlotte (tie) 1.0 park benches
49. Louisville 1.0 park benches
50. Fresno 1.0 park benches

For more information about ParkScore, visit parkscore.tpl.org The Trust for Public Land has work hard for 4 decades to build parks, gardens, and natural spaces for 10 million people. In deed, they claim credit for having “helped generate” $34 billion in public funds. That’s impressive!

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