Boston Gets High Marks for Parks

Residents are determined to "take back" the Dartmouth Pocket Park, pictured in this photo gallery 10 years ago.

Bostonians regularly enjoy our parks, whether it’s large like Boston Common or small like Ringgold Park. But according to new national rankings, Boston’s parks are some of the best in the entire country.

Boston’s parks were ranked third in the United States by the Trust for Public Land, tying with San Francisco and Sacramento, and coming in just shy of Minneapolis and New York City. 

The ranking report used mapping technology and demographic data to determine how well the 50 largest cities in the United States are meeting the need for parks, including how much access citizens have to parks and park amenities. 

“We are proud of the fact that Boston has so many easily accessible parks and welcome the recognition,” Mayor Thomas Menino said. “From the pastoral expanses of the world-famous Emerald Necklace to our smallest neighborhood playground, Boston’s residents have a wide variety of well maintained parks providing them with opportunities to exercise or just relax within a short walk from their homes.”

The ratings were based equally on three factors: park access, which compares the percentage of residents living within a half-mile walk to a park; park size, which is based on the city’s median park size; and services and investment, which looks at the number of playgrounds and park spending per 10,000 residents. 

According to Boston’s ratings, 97 percent of Bostonians live within a 10-minute walk of park, and 16 percent of the city is devoted to parks. 

Which is your favorite park in the South End? Tell us in the comments. 

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