Minneapolis and Saint Paul Parks Are Tops

According to a newly released report from the nonprofit Trust for Public Land, Saint Paul and Minneapolis parks are ranked at or near the top in the country.  This report is just confirming what we’ve already known around here for a while:  The Minneapolis and St. Paul park systems are a cut above the rest! 

When it comes to the amount of land dedicated to parks, 16.6 percent of Minneapolis is parkland, first among cities with immediate-high population densities. St. Paul came in at second in the same density category with 14.7 percent.

The Trust for Public Land reports the following ranks for Minneapolis and Saint Paul when compared to a total of 60 of America’s largest cities:

  • Recreation centers per 20,000 residents: St. Paul, 1st, 3.0; Minneapolis, 2nd, 2.6.
  • Tennis courts per 10,000 residents: Minneapolis, 1st, 4.9; St. Paul, tied for 3rd, 3.7.
  • Ball diamonds per 10,000 residents: St. Paul, 1st, 5.6; Minneapolis, 2nd, 5.3.
  • Skateboard parks per 100,000 residents: Minneapolis, 3rd, 1.6; St. Paul, 16th, 0.7.
  • Park-related spending per resident: St. Paul, 3rd, $224; Minneapolis, 8th, $151.
  • Non-seasonal municipal park employees per 1,000 residents: Minneapolis , 5th, 1.56; St. Paul, 14th, 1.08.

The Twin Cities communities also landed one of its park destinations among the most visited in the nation. The Lake Harriet/Lyndale Park area in Minneapolis receives about 2.25 million visitors a year, placing it 30th.

Finally, Saint Paul was also mentioned in the report as having one of the oldest parks in the nation.  Rice Park was first dedicated 1849.  For those who are interested, the oldest existing park in the nation is Boston Common in Boston, Mass. 

As a whole, the 60 biggest cities of the U.S. added 5,375 new acres of parkland in 2007.  That brings their combined total of public urban green spaces serving urban America to over 1.3 million acres. The total is larger than Yosemite, Rocky Mountain, Mesa Verde, and Shenandoah National Parks combined.

The Trust for Public Land is a national, nonprofit, land conservation organization. It describes its mission as conserving land "for people to enjoy as parks, community gardens, historic sites, rural lands, and other natural places, ensuring livable communities for generations to come."

For their website, click here.  For the extensive and full report on city park stats, please click here. 

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