Trust for Public Land keeps Plano at #1 in the state for parks, #16 in the nation

courtesy City of Plano
courtesy City of Plano
In this year's Trust for Public Land ParkScore, Plano ranked #1 in Texas and #16 in the nation for its investment in the local park system.

Every year, the Trust for Public Land (TPL) releases a study of the parks systems within the 100 largest cities in the nation. And nearly every year, Plano comes out at the top of the state. This year was no exception, with Plano ranking 16th in the nation and first in the state for our parks department.

The ranking is based on acreage, access, investment, amenities and equity. Plano ranked highly due to a few key metrics:

  1. 82% of Plano residents live within a 10-minute walk of a park – a statistic that did not vary significantly for different age groups, income levels or races within the city
  2. Plano’s parks scored highly in amenities like basketball hoops, playgrounds and public bathrooms.
  3. Plano Parks and Recreation spends $181 per capita on park investment.

Plano’s largest metrics with room to grow include:

  1. Only 9% of Plano’s land is used for parks and recreation. The national median is 15%.
  2. With amenities, Plano ranked lower for the number of dog parks, rec and senior centers and splash pads per 100,000 people.

“As City leaders, we are constantly striving to make Plano a better place to live, work and play. Our Parks and Recreation Department certainly upholds the high standard of why we call Plano ‘City of Excellence,'” said Plano Mayor John Muns. “From our 85 park sites, four recreation centers and two Audubon Certified nature preserves to our four outdoor swimming pools, world class athletic facilities and two 18 hole golf courses, we offer something for everyone of our residents.”

The Trust for Public Land also studied the effects of parks on communities and social engagement. The study found that people who live near parks are more socially connected with their neighbors, interact with those of different socio-economic groups more and are more likely to be satisfied with their local government.

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