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Cleveland's Parks Ranked 24th in Trust for Public Land's Annual ParkScore Index

a photo of a trail
Medina County Park District
Cleveland's parks jumped in ratings on the ParkScore Index in part because of equity, of which the city exceeds the national average, according to the report.

Cleveland's ranking improved significantly in a national nonprofit's annual assessment of park systems in the 100 most populous U.S. cities. The Trust for Public Land’s ParkScore index report ranks park systems on various metrics such as access, acreage and equity, which was measured for the first time this year.

Cleveland placed 24th this year, a jump from being ranked 29th in last year’s report.

Sean Terry with the Trust for Public Land says part of Cleveland’s success was in the new park equity measure. 83% of Cleveland residents are within a 10-minute walk of a park, well above the national average of 75%. And Terry says this doesn’t change when just looking at minority communities.

“We don’t see a dip in terms of neighborhoods of color or low-income neighborhoods having significantly less park access,” Terry said.

But he says improvements can still be made to make Cleveland’s parks more equitable, as the size of parks and the amenities they offer are not consistent.

Terry: continuous improvement of parks

“There’s still some inconsistencies in terms of the size of the park, so just because you can get to a park in a 10-minute walk doesn’t mean it’s a very significantly sized park and then there may be certain areas where we can improve on the amenities offered at those parks,” he said.

Terry says is the Trust for Public Land is already working to address these issues through pilot programs in underserved communities looking to improve on their park access. The Trust for Public Land is also hoping to start partnering with local schools to improve the outdoor community spaces they have.

Abigail Bottar is a junior at Kent State University. She is pursuing a major in political science with a concentration in American politics and minors in history and women's studies. Additionally, Abigail is starting her second semester copy editing for The Burr.