When it comes to public park systems, Arlington’s ranks near the top of the nation’s 100 largest cities. That’s according to the Trust for Public Land’s ParkScore® index, which recently ranked the County fourth on its list. The twin cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul, MN ranked first and third respectively while neighboring Washington, D.C. placed second.
“We are proud to be recognized again this year for our outstanding park and recreation system,” said Jane Rudolph, Director of Arlington County Department of Parks and Recreation. “The County’s ongoing commitment coupled with the involvement and support of our residents make Arlington’s park and recreation system what it is today – a valued resource for our diverse community. And though our parks are temporarily closed due to COVID-19, our great park system is one that can be used long into the future.”
Arlington earned top marks for its park investment, with perfect scores for its beloved dog parks and basketball hoops. While Arlington is one of the smallest of the top 10 cities ranked, it inched up its park access score from 98% to 99%, meaning 99% of Arlington residents are within a 10-minute walk to a park – that equates to an increase of more than 5,000 residents.
In response to the public health crisis, Arlington Parks and Recreation has created a loyal following with its Recreate at Home program – a twice weekly eNewsletter that offers fitness, wellness and creative activities for all ages and abilities. For those who want to enjoy the outdoors (and maintain social distancing), Arlington’s 49 miles of paved trails remain open for walking, jogging and cycling.
ParkScore rankings are based equally on four factors: Park Access (99% of Arlington residents can walk to a park in 10 minutes or less: national average is 70%); Park Acreage (11% percent of Arlington is reserved for parks); Park Investment (Arlington spends $300.63 per resident on parks); and Park Amenities (which counts the availability of six popular park features: basketball hoops, off-leash dog parks, playgrounds, spraygrounds and other water play structures, recreation and senior centers, and restrooms).