Irvine again tops Southern California cities in access to parks
Irvine again topped all California cities — and cracked the top five nationally — in a report rating municipalities’ investments to ensure public access to parks.
Irvine ranked fourth in the nation in the annual ParkScore report compiled by the Trust for Public Land, with researchers noting that 94% of Irvine residents live within a 10-minute walk from a park, up from 89% last year and well above the national average of 76%.
The report released Tuesday estimated that Irvine’s spending on parks increased to $284 per person, up from $185 per person a year ago, and above the national average of $108. Irvine ranked eighth on the list last year.
Irvine was the only Southern California city to rank in the top 10 nationally. San Francisco was the only other California city to make the top 10, ranking seventh.
Santa Clarita made its debut on the annual list, placing 47th nationally, with 52% of residents living within a 10-minute walk to a park and the city spending $224 per resident on parks.
Long Beach ranked 58th, down from 41 a year ago, while Anaheim fell from 64th place last year to 68th this year. Riverside rose three spots from 75th in 2022 to 72nd this year, while Los Angeles fell slightly from 78th to 80th.
In conjunction with this year’s report, the Trust for Public Land also released a study concluding that cities with high ParkScore ratings tend to be healthier places to live, with residents of those cities generally being more physically active and less likely to report poor mental health.
“Innovation is the key to future success. Today, parks departments across the country are writing a new playbook to ensure that all residents can enjoy the physical and mental health benefits of their neighborhood park,” Diane Regas, president/CEO of Trust for Public Land, said in a statement. “As an organization dedicated to connecting everyone to the outdoors, Trust for Public Land is excited by what we’ve seen this year and will continue working with city leaders throughout the United States to support park access for all.”
Washington, D.C., was the top-ranked city in the ParkScore report for the third straight year. St. Paul, Minnesota, took second place, followed by Minneapolis, Irvine and Arlington, Virginia.