The city has the nation’s second best park system, according to a report card released Thursday.
The Trust for Public Land gave the Big Apple 4.5 out of 5 “park benches” in its annual ParkScore index. Although New York came in behind Minneapolis, the nonprofit gave the city high marks for the parks’ proximity to residents and for overall investment in its public spaces.
“New York City’s parks and open spaces are a welcome oasis for more than 8 million residents and they are essential resources for education, recreation, and greenery in an urban environment,” city Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver said in a statement.
The trust used three factors to determine its score: the percentage of residents living within a 10-minute walk from the park, median park size and the amount spent on park creation and maintenance.
New York scored high in the first category, since 97% of residents live within a 10-minute walk from a green space. The city also did well with spending, $170 per resident.
However, it didn’t measure up when it came to park size. The median acreage for a city park is 1.1 acres, well below the national ParkScore average of 6 acres, and the nonprofit said that was a major factor in the second place listing.
“In recent years, New York City has seen an increase in flooding and storm damage, particularly in areas of the city with the fewest resources,” Marc Matsil, The Trust for Public Land’s New York State director, said in a statement.
“We hope the city will continue its great work by enhancing and adding more parks, natural areas, and green infrastructure so we’ll be better prepared for the next Sandy,” Marc Matsil, The Trust for Public Land’s New York State director, said in a statement.