Local

City of Trees falls out of Top 20 in U.S. park rankings

American River College student Joel Swastek finds a comfortable place under a tree to read Oscar Wilde's “Picture of Dorian Gray” at Fremont Park in Sacramento in April.
American River College student Joel Swastek finds a comfortable place under a tree to read Oscar Wilde's “Picture of Dorian Gray” at Fremont Park in Sacramento in April. jvillegas@sacbee.com

The City of Trees just took a (slight) pruning.

Sacramento slips four spots in the Trust for Public Land’s 2017 rankings of park systems in the nation’s top 100 cities. The city now ranks 21st, tied with Milwaukee and Omaha.

Minneapolis took top honors. followed by St. Paul, Minn., San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and Portland in the Top 5. Stockton improved to 75th, while Fresno moved from 97th to 90th, tying with Hialeah and Jacksonville, Fla.

The rankings rate park systems based on how many people have access to parks within 10-minute walking distance, median park sizes, and spending and basic amenities.

“You can’t have a great city without a great park system,” said Adrian Benepe, Trust for Public Land senior vice president, in a release on the results.

Spokeswoman Annette Majerowicz said Sacramento lost points mostly for a drop in park spending averaged over the past three years, along with a few smaller drops in other categories.

Fresno, on the other hand, moved up as a result of pacts opening up school playgrounds and playing fields to city parks visitors after school hours and on weekends.

“Joint use of school facilities is a major national trend, and a very positive development,” said Will Rogers, president of the Trust for Public Land.

Check out the full results here.

  Comments