Ranking Austin's Park System… How Does It Stack Up?

Barton Creek Greenbelt

#43. That’s where Austin’s parks system ranks amongst the 100 largest cities in the US.
The ranking comes from the Trust For Public Land’s annual ParkScore rankings. The top three cities were Washington DC, St. Paul, and Minneapolis.
The ParkScore is based off of four main criteria – acreage, investment, amenities, and access.

image via the Trust For Public Land
So why did Austin score so low? Here are some of the main findings from the study.

  • 59 percent of Austin residents live within a 10-minute walk of a park (The Trust for Public Land advocates that everyone should live within a 10-minute walk of a park.)
  • 10 percent of Austin’s city land is used for parks and recreation
  • Austin spends about $119.18 on its park system per capita. That’s compared to $270.40 for Washington DC and $219.89 for St. Paul

Want to dive deeper into Austin’s ParkScore results? You can look at all of the numbers (and a map of where parks are most needed in the city) here>>
So where do we go from here?
There are many local organizations that are dedicated to improving Austin’s parkland, including the Save Barton Creek AssociationSave Our Springs AllianceWaller Creek ConservancyShoal Creek ConservancyFriends of Red Bluff Wildlife Nature Preserve, and the Austin Parks Foundation.
Volunteering with or donating to any of these organizations is a great way to get more involved with improving our local park system. The Austin Parks Foundation in particular has just published a new blog post about the ways they’re working to improve Austin’s ParkScore, and how you can get involved. You can check it out here>>

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