MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — For the second year in a row, Minneapolis beat out some the country’s best cities for having great parks.
The Trust for Public Land ranks Minneapolis with a perfect “five park bench score.” That’s better than New York, Boston, Portland, and San Francisco.
Minneapolis got the top spot for three reasons. The first is access — 94 percent of residents live within a 10 minute walk of a park.
“I have Hiawatha Park,” said Joey Holm, an elementary school student. “It’s like two blocks away from me, and all I have to do is walk up there and it doesn’t hurt my feet.”
The size of the city’s parks is also unique. New York, which came in second, has a median park size of an acre. Minneapolis parks average around seven acres.
“I don’t think we’ve seen all of it and we’ve been here quite a few times,” said Lauren O’Connor while visiting Minnehaha Park.
Finally, Minneapolis spends more money to make its parks better, whether through playgrounds, athletic fields or activities.
“The do music, movies at night so it’s something free and it gets us out of the house,” said Brent Schauer, who lives in north Minneapolis.
On Thursday, city leaders held a press conference to celebrate the honor, but noted there is always room for improvement, such as making the Mississippi River more accessible for everyone.
“So we can connect the neighborhoods of north, northeast and downtown to one of the greatest rivers on earth,” said Page Knudsen Cowles, the Chair of The Trust for Public Land.
The five cities that ranked lowest were Mesa, Ariz., Charlotte, Ind., Louisville, Ky., and Fresno, Cali.