Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Memphis Scores Low on Park Accessibility

Posted By on Wed, Jun 5, 2013 at 4:41 PM

Overton Park
  • Overton Park

Memphis ranked 42 out of 50 in the latest ranking of most park-friendly cities by the Trust for Public Land.

The Trust uses a ParkScore system giving each city from one to five "park benches" based on park size, accessibility, the number of playgrounds, and park investment. Memphis earned one-and-a-half park benches.

Memphis actually scored well in the park size category (in the top 10 out of 50 cities) with a median park size of 10 acres. But the city's score was hurt by a lack of accessibility into city parks. It was determined that only 40 percent of residents live within a 10-minute walk of a park.

“The Trust for Public Land will be working with Memphis’ leaders to find the best way to use the park space they have and to develop a stronger park system,” said Rick Wood, area director in Tennessee for The Trust for Public Land. “Memphis is already working to provide greater park access in places like Fletcher Creek Park. Fletcher Creek currently has only one entrance, but soon it will be accessible from multiple locations and will have a walking trail right beside it.”

Memphis ranked at 31 last year, but the Trust for Public Land only ranked 40 cities last year instead of 50. So the ranking actually didn't change much.

Minneapolis was the only city to score a perfect five park benches this year. New York City came in second, and Boston, Sacramento, and San Francisco tied for third place. Nashville came in at number 38.

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