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Jacksonville's Park System Ranks No. 85 Among US Cities

Wikimedia Commons
Jacksonville's Memorial Park is pictured.

Jacksonville boasts that it has one of the largest and unique park systems in the nation with more than 400 parks and recreational sites but the Trust for Public Land found the city lagging behind the park systems of 84 other U.S. cities.

The Trust for Public Land, a nonprofit that promotes park development, has released its seventh annual ParkScore index, ranking Jacksonville 85th in the country.

Although Jacksonville earned strong marks for park acreage, it fell short in a number of categories including investment, access and amenities.

The nonprofit found only 33% of Jacksonville’s overall population being served by parks.

The rankings were based equally on four factors, according to the Trust for Public Land:

  • Park Access, which measures the percentage of residents living within a 10-minute walk of a park. Jacksonville received three out of 40 points.
  • Park Acreage, which is based on a city’s median park size and the percentage of total city area dedicated to parks. Jacksonville received 26 out of 40 points.
  • Park Investment, which measures park spending per resident. Jacksonville received 5 out of 40 points.
  • Park Amenities, which counts the availability of six popular park features: basketball hoops, off-leash dog parks, playgrounds, “splashpads” and other water play structures, recreation and senior centers, and restrooms. Jacksonville received 21 out of 40 points.

Credit Trust For Public Land

Minneapolis, MN was ranked number one in the country with a score of 84.2 out of a maximum of 100 points. By comparison, Jacksonville received 34.5 points.

Credit Trust for Public Land
Trust for Public Land
This information graphic illustrates the level of park need as defined by the Trust for Public Land.

Top 10 Park Systems As Ranked By Trust For Public Land

Rank  City                         ParkScore  (Max: 100)                  

1.       Minneapolis, MN      84.2

2.       Saint Paul, MN          82.4

3.       Washington, DC        81.9

4.       Arlington, VA            81.6

5.       San Francisco, CA    79.6

6.       Portland, OR             78.3

7.       Cincinnati, OH          78.2

8.       Chicago, IL               76.1

9.       New York, NY          74.8

10.     Irvine, CA                 73.4

The full ParkScore can be viewed here.  Additional details on Jacksonville’s ranking and profile are at this webpage and Jacksonville's Parks and Recreation webpage is available here.

Bill Bortzfield can be reached at, 904-358-6349 or on Twitter at @BortzInJax.

Photo used under Creative Commons license.

Bill joined WJCT News in September of 2017 from The Florida Times-Union, where he served in a variety of multimedia journalism positions.