August 19, 2022

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St. Paul once more ranks 2nd out of 100 cities for finest parklands within the nation

With regards to entry to public parks and normal parks facilities, it’s arduous to beat St. Paul.

Actually, out of the 100 most populous cities in America, Minnesota’s capital metropolis has the second finest park system within the nation for the second yr in a row, behind solely Washington, D.C., based on the newest annual rating from the Belief for Public Land.

Minneapolis completed fifth within the new ParkScore index, dropping barely from final yr’s third place win, largely because of college partnerships in two different cities which have elevated parkland entry elsewhere.

“Cincinnati and Arlington took steps that kind of edged above Minneapolis a bit of bit, however they’re neck and neck,” mentioned Susan Schmidt, Minnesota state director and vice chairman for the Midwest Area for the Belief for Public Land.

“We will rejoice excellence in each St. Paul and Minneapolis throughout 100 of America’s most populated cities,” Schmidt mentioned.


That is the eleventh yr of the annual Belief for Public Land rankings, which rank metropolis park techniques primarily based on 5 main components, reminiscent of park spending per capita and the proportion of metropolis residents who stay inside a 10-minute stroll of a park. In each these areas, St. Paul and Minneapolis have persistently excelled, rating within the prime 5 yr after yr, and normally the highest three. In 2020, Minneapolis got here in first and St. Paul was third.

Nationally, 100 million folks — 28 million of that are kids — lack entry to parks inside a 10-minute stroll of their residence, based on the Belief for Public Land.

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In St. Paul, the proportion of residents with simple park entry is 99 p.c. In Minneapolis, it’s just about the identical at 98 p.c. The nationwide ParkScore common this yr was 75 p.c.

“There are cities down at 50 p.c and 40 p.c,” Schmidt mentioned. “That’s what we’re attempting to alter.”

Additionally from the newest index: St. Paul invests $247 per individual in its park system and Minneapolis invests $317, each properly above the nationwide ParkScore common of $98.


That mentioned, there’s nonetheless work to be executed relating to each park entry and upkeep within the Twin Cities.

One of many classes added to the parks scorecard final yr was “fairness,” mentioned Schmidt, or “how do parks differ in neighborhoods that establish primarily as Black, brown, indigenous in comparison with neighborhoods that establish primarily as white?”

Within the Twin Cities and all through a lot of the remainder of the nation, even in areas the place whites and non-whites stay equally near parklands, there tends to be a lot much less precise park area inside low-income areas and communities of shade.

In St. Paul, residents of shade tended to stay in areas that had 4 to 32 p.c much less parkland than town median. Blacks had been 9 p.c beneath town median and Asians had been 25 p.c much less.

Low-income areas in St. Paul had 15 p.c much less parkland than town median, whereas higher-income areas had 25 p.c greater than the median.

“Park area is smaller in neighborhoods that, by Census definition, are lower-income and establish as Black, brown, indigenous,” Schmidt mentioned. “That is true in most cities throughout the nation, however not Washington, D.C., which is attention-grabbing. However we’ve enhancements that should be made.”

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Nonetheless, she famous that St. Paul has taken strides towards ethnic and neighborhood partnerships not but measured by the ParkScore index, reminiscent of the long run Wakan Tipi Middle alongside the Mississippi River. “It gained’t change total acreage, nevertheless it’s a celebration of the Dakota folks and the Dakota tradition,” Schmidt mentioned. Likewise, the deliberate North Finish Neighborhood Middle in St. Paul “gained’t change the acreage, however it’s going to change the relevance of an out of doors area.”

Disparities had been arguably extra hanging throughout the river. In Minneapolis, white neighborhoods had practically double (95 p.c extra) the quantity of park area per individual as town median, whereas Black neighborhoods had 11 p.c lower than the median, Latin neighborhoods had 48 p.c much less and neighborhoods of shade usually had 21 p.c much less.

Poorer neighborhoods had 33 p.c much less park area than town median in Minneapolis, whereas rich neighborhoods had 92 p.c extra.

That’s to not say there’s been no motion towards bettering park entry. In North Minneapolis, Minneapolis has erected the the twenty sixth Avenue overlook over the Mississippi River, and is planning enhancements to North Commons park, Schmidt famous. “You may’t construct large parks quick, particularly in the course of town,” Schmidt mentioned. “It should take time. However what I get enthusiastic about is the steps that each cities are taking to fulfill fairness objectives that aren’t but measured on ParkScore.”


Nationally, neighborhoods the place most residents establish as folks of shade have entry to a mean of 43 p.c much less park area than predominantly white neighborhoods. Low-income areas have 42 p.c much less park area.

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The foremost exception is the nation’s capital. Some 26 p.c of Washington, D.C. is parkland, in comparison with about 15 p.c of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

The 5 classes on this yr and final yr’s ParkScore scorecard had been entry, acreage, funding, facilities and fairness. In a written assertion, Belief for Public Land officers famous that each St. Paul and Minneapolis had been among the many nation’s “local weather leaders,” finishing a number of tasks to interchange paved parking heaps with pure surfaces and adapt current amenities to higher handle runoff and enhance situations for wildlife.

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