Austin ranks No. 2 on new list of top parks in Texas

In Texas, Austin’s parks are among the crème de la crème, according to a new report.

The nonprofit Trust for Public Land’s 2022 ParkScore ranking places Austin 39th nationally (tied with Oakland, Calif.) for best parks system among the nation’s 100 most populous cities. In Texas, Austin ranks second for parks, behind the Dallas suburb of Plano, which ranks No. 1 in the state and 15th nationally.

The ParkScore report indicates that Austin stands out for:

  • Its median park size of 6.7 acres, which is higher than the national ParkScore average of 5.4 acres.
  • Its spending on parks: The city’s investment of $178 per capita is well above the national ParkScore average of $98.
  • Residents’ proximity to parks: In Austin, 70% of residents live within a 10-minute walk of a park, compared to a national ParkScore average of 75%.

The ParkScore ranking rates park systems based on 14 factors divided into five categories: size, investment, amenities, access and equity.

According to the ParkScore report, Austin has 489 parks. The Austin Department of Parks and Recreation lists 330 public parks.

Other Texas communities included in the national ParkScore rankings are:

  • Dallas, No. 53
  • San Antonio, No. 59
  • Arlington, No. 68
  • Houston at No. 70
  • Corpus Christi and Laredo, No. 73 (tie)
  • Fort Worth, No. 86
  • Garland and Lubbock, No. 91 (tie)
  • Irving, #98

Nationally, Washington, DC took first place, followed by St. Paul, Minnesota, and Arlington, Virginia.

“Investing in natural solutions like trails, shade and green spaces can cool temperatures by up to six degrees and help prevent flooding. That’s why Trust for Public Land is working with park advocates and city leaders across the United States to close the outdoor equity gap and ensure quality parks are accessible to everyone,” said Diane Regas, President and CEO of Trust for Public Land. Press release. “Parks inspire joy and happiness and help cities deal with the climate crisis.”