Plano has placed first in Texas and 16th nationally in the nonprofit Trust for Public Land’s 2023 ParkScore rankings, which evaluates the best park systems among the 100 largest cities in the United States.
The park systems of America’s most populated cities are rated in ParkScore’s yearly report based on five characteristics, which include: access, acreage, amenities, equity and investment.
Plano was able to achieve its number-one ranking in the Lone Star State based on a number of factors found in the report, such as investing the most money on its park system out of any city in the Dallas-Fort Worth area ($196 per resident); as well as having 80% of its residents living within a 10-minute walk of one of the city’s 142 parks.
“In Plano, we are working very hard to ensure our neighborhoods have a quality park within a close walk of residents,” said Plano Mayor Harry LaRosiliere in a statement. “This is an important initiative and I’m proud to support it.”
According to news publication CultureMap Dallas, this is the third consecutive year that Plano has held the number one ranking in Texas, although the city did drop one spot nationally after placing 15th in the whole country last year.
Dallas was the second-ranked North Texas city on the list, placing 43rd nationally. According to the report, Dallas spends $124 per capita on its park system (a $15 increase from last year’s investment total), with 73% of its population residing within a 10 minute stroll of one of the city’s 474 parks
“Parks are critical infrastructure in a modern city, and now is the time to take to the next level our efforts to make Dallas greener and greater for all,” said Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson in a statement. “As the single biggest champion of Dallas’ park system, I am committed to ensuring Dallas becomes the city with the highest level of park access in Texas.”
Other North Texas cities that cracked the list include Arlington (74th nationally), Garland (87th), Fort Worth (88th) and Irving (99th).
The top five cities in America with the best park systems, according to the report, were: Washington, D.C. (first place); St. Paul, Minnesota (second); Minneapolis, Minnesota (third); Irvine, California (fourth); and Arlington, Virginia (fifth).
To view the report in full, head over to www.tpl.org/parkscore.