The Trust for Public Land‘s official 2023 ParkScore Index released it’s annual report today, and Plano dropped a spot from last year’s ranking.
Last year, Plano ranked #15 in the nation due to 77% of Plano residents living within a 10-minute walk of a park and amenity numbers resting at 5.2 basketball hoops per 10,000 people, 1 dog park per 100,000 people, 4.7 playgrounds per 10,000 people, 1.5 bathrooms per 10,000 people, 0.3 senior centers per 20,000 people and 0.7 splash pads per 100,000 people. Plano also invested $219 per capita in parks.
This year, Plano has dropped down to #16. The investment per resident lowered from $219 per capita to $196. However, almost all other data points rose, with 10-minute walk percentages rising to and almost all other data points raising by at least a tenth of a point. The areas with the lowest scores were in amenities and equity, where Plano scored lower than those above it in number of dog parks, senior centers and splash pads per resident as well as the percentage of low-income residents who have access to nearby park space.
Other North Texas cities like Dallas, Arlington and Fort Worth also ranked on the list, with Dallas climbing ten spots to #43, Arlington placing #74, Garland at #87, Fort Worth at #88 and Irving at #99.
In addition to the ratings list, Trust for Public Land published new research reporting that cities with high ParkScore rankings are healthier places to live. According to this research, residents of cities ranked 1-25 on the ParkScore index are 9% less likely to report poor mental health and 21% less likely to be physically inactive than residents of lower-ranking cities.
“Health professionals have long understood that physical play and exercise is essential for childhood development, but we’re just starting to grasp the mental health benefits. Simply being in a quiet natural place promotes stress reduction and attention restoration, and evidence suggests that local green space serves as a gathering point that fosters community cohesion, allowing for people to know their neighbors and form social bonds that promote health and safety,” says Georges C. Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association.