Minneapolis has the best parks in the nation and it isn't even close, study says

Categories: Lists
MinnehahaFalls.jpg
Minnehaha Falls in Minnehaha Park.
According to The Trust for Public Land's 2013 "ParkScore" rankings, Minneapolis not only has the best parks in the county, but the City of Lakes has actually left the competition in the dust.

:::: UPDATE :::: NYC editor disses Minneapolis's awesome parks: The city "is in like, Canada or something"

The ParkScore numbers are based on three factors: the percentage of residents living within a 10-minute walk from a park, median park size and the percentage of total city area dedicated to parks, and a combination of the number of playgrounds per 10,000 residents and per-capita park spending, the AP reports.

The rankings looked at the 50 largest U.S. cities and scored them on a scale up to 100. Minneapolis's score of 81 earned a "five park benches" rating. According to the Pioneer Press, it's the first time a city has received that distinction since the Trust has been compiling the ParkScore numbers.

New York City came in second with a score of 73.5, followed by a third-place tie between San Francisco, Sacramento, and Boston at 72.5.

St. Paul isn't large enough to be included in the rankings, but the Twin Cities as a whole reportedly still would've topped the list.

"Trust for Public Land officials ran the numbers... and found that the combined Minneapolis-St. Paul score is nearly unchanged when the capital city is added to the mix," the PiPress writes.

Perhaps Trust officials might have to create a new "six park benches" category if plans to convert the Star Tribune property into downtown Minneapolis's largest park by the time the new Vikings stadium opens come to fruition.

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at arupar@citypages.com.

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69 comments
Mike Thompson
Mike Thompson

I live about 50 yards from Minnehaha Creek and take at least one peaceful walk there every day.

Brandon Doll
Brandon Doll

The people that live in the north side can't take care of anything. They destroy anything that is nice and contribute nothing financially.

Marne Helgesen
Marne Helgesen

No one can argue the beautiful city of lakes and parks!!! N

JoAnna Janssen
JoAnna Janssen

Weren't we just mentioning how awesome are parks are?!?

Matt Barthelemy
Matt Barthelemy

I'm with Brandon about the parks. They could be doing much more to encourage people to use them, especially in the neighborhoods that need access to engaging, free recreation the most. Parks in wealthy neighborhoods get better equipment and are better maintained by the Parks Board.

Sally Vardaman Johnson
Sally Vardaman Johnson

I think we should all be away from our screens and out enjoying these wonderful parks today. :)

Sue Marty
Sue Marty

Minnihaha Falls my favorite place in Mpls to visit

Dorene Jordan
Dorene Jordan

I agree! They also have the prettiest marathon route through those gorgeous parks.

helmmatthews
helmmatthews

Some people commenting here need to understand the difference between a city park and a state park. This blog post only pertains to city parks.

Kim Latterell
Kim Latterell

Duluth has more park land per capita but isn't better, just as good.

Paula LeQuia
Paula LeQuia

It's one of the things I remember fondly about my childhood - us kids always had a place to go in the neighborhood. Always...didn't matter how much money you had; at least you had a place to play. Oh, and a park or school with a pool - Mpls. had those; even if the deep end was 4ft - it was a damn pool. 100 degrees in the city? It sucks. There wasn't a kid who couldn't walk to a pool in their neighborhood. Many summers spent at Cleveland and Theodore Worth pools. Mpls. needs to preserve those that still exist. Maybe none do now. If that's the case, Minneapolis should get a big fat F and the city's current planners should be ashamed of themselves. I know that the pools were the brainchild of one the city's main architects but the name escapes me. Every school had one and was attached to a HUGE field that would be flooded during the winter for ice skating and hockey. Pretty sure most had restrooms and warming huts as well. Minnesota used to take care of folks, now it just looks the other way and mows down shit for rich people to ride a bike on. Hmmmm.......how many poor kids get to enjoy these parks and trails without being there on a field trip???? Utterly ridiculous....and everyone wonders what happened to North side. Now THAT is criminal. I'm just warming up....go ahead.

John Hyde
John Hyde

Don't compare Colorado or Hawaii to Minnesota. They are totally different parts of earth. Look at the type of park systems they have in place. Minneapolis was fortunate to have Theodore Wirth, a worldwide park system pioneer and the backdrop of a beautiful city of lakes! Interesting read here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theodore_Wirth

Lance Toutges
Lance Toutges

I've been to Hawaii and it kicks Minnesota's ass! Minnesota is flat and boring in comparison. Colorado, Utah, Arizona, etc.

Adam Pederson
Adam Pederson

Love ya Robert. Jack, I've been to Honolulu , I hated it. Go walk the gorge, realize I could walk there from my former home and you'll understand.

Robert Rollins
Robert Rollins

Wow. Sarcasm for one on my part, but it IS too bad we don't have more warm months in the year to enjoy the parks...ya know, without the -50 windchill. Not sure where in my statement "enjoy them in the warmth" it says we can't/don't enjoy them year round. Touchy crowd.

Jack Yahalo
Jack Yahalo

'cept Austin is ranked... below MN. So, we could read about them, but they'd still be inferior. Snow 8-9 months a year. SMH. Moron.

Jack Yahalo
Jack Yahalo

Yeah, I'm sure if you include cities that rank somewhere between 300th and 500th in the US you're sure to find many with awesome parks. But, for major US Cities, you can't take away that MPLS is awesome!

Jack Yahalo
Jack Yahalo

That's the thing about subjective opinions, you can claim whatever you want without objective data! And, dude, Akron isn't even in the top 100 most populous cities in America. If you were Honolulu I could understand being bummed about not being included, but Akron? Seriously?

Jack Yahalo
Jack Yahalo

And, if you're not enjoying them 12 months a year, it's your own damn fault. I love doing fat tire biking, cross country skiing, and pond hockey all winter long!

Lucy Littlewolf Arias
Lucy Littlewolf Arias

Wow I live in Minneapolis and I can walk to 4 beautiful parks, the study was on BIG cities! I am glad to say MPLs is my home

Christina Bussler
Christina Bussler

Jessica Zillhart, this was just below your minnehaha selfie!

Janet Ames
Janet Ames

Bonnie Moren ny has some great parks lakes and mountain s

Todd Rogers
Todd Rogers

I'm sure you'll have them all scoped out for when we come this summer!

Adam Pederson
Adam Pederson

That's the thing about stats, you can make them say just about anything. I am a MN native, but the Akron Cleveland metro park system is light years better.

Thomas Day
Thomas Day

I think Texas is safe from having Minnesota's move there. I ran into a fair number of Austin's escapees who had nothing good to say about their old home to town. Like most of Texas, Austin is a has-been.

Brandon Doll
Brandon Doll

I live in minneapolis. This article may have some validity to it if you define a park as a grassy field with a bench and nothing more. But I believe the rest of the countries standards are a bit higher than that....

Kim Kermes
Kim Kermes

We should go see the falls, isn't the creek really high now?

Laurie Wong
Laurie Wong

Who ever posted this why do you write Duh above the picture ?? some of us who see this picture think it is so beautiful !!! and we would love to go there , and we didnt know that its always open , due to the fact we dont live there !! saying duh is so disrespectful to the falls and to your state , and to the people that live there !!!! and it says a lot about you !! how did you ever get the job ?

Tony Kuharski
Tony Kuharski

covered in freezing snow 8-9 months a year .no thanks. u would tell you about great parks in austin Texas, but we don't want anymore damn Midwestern hicks moving here

Christian Leamy
Christian Leamy

I would like to introduce Alaska to you uncle Kenny then we can have this conversation. LOL

Tony M Jones
Tony M Jones

I love minneapolis can't wait to move there

north_stars09
north_stars09

As usual the uninformed Texan make a an Ass out of himself. Minneapolis isn't covered in snow for 9 months. And I'm sure spending a day in a Texas park in 120 degree weather surrounded by people speaking Spanish is way better... Sorry for the Midwestern sarcasm.

MNjoe
MNjoe topcommenter

Now's the time to go. Minnehaha Falls is kicking ass right now with all the rain we've had. Last few years it's been down to a trickle by mid-August. 

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