Arlington’s Parks System Ranks in the Top Three in the United States – Official Website of the Government of Arlington County in Virginia

Posted on May 04, 2022



Arlington County’s park system is ranked third in the nation by the Trust for Public Land’s ParkScore® Index.

With 99% of Arlington residents living within a 10-minute walk of a park, the importance of county parks has been keenly felt during the COVID-19 pandemic. Arlington’s more than 150 parks served as places to connect and exercise, and they played a vital role in strengthening the mental and physical well-being of our community. In recent years, Arlington has ranked fourth in the nation.

“Our parks and recreation opportunities are a key contributor to the quality of life in Arlington County. From livability, bikeability, fitness, health and more, our community benefits from our parks,” said Arlington County Board Chair Katie Cristol. Over the past pandemic years, our Department of Parks and Recreation has proven that recreation is an essential service by delivering food to those in need, providing and coordinating facilities to administer COVID tests and vaccines. -19, and giving us all respite and a connection to the community.

Arlington scored 79.1 points out of 100 in the ParkScore® index. The calculation is based on an average of five categories reflecting an excellent urban park system: access, investment, amenities, area and equity. Arlington ranks among the best in terms of community investment (both dollars and volunteerism) and access. The county scored about average for percentage of total city area devoted to parks and below average for size of parks.

“Our community’s commitment to its parks makes a difference,” said Parks and Recreation Director Jane Rudolph. “They have supported us by voting for park bonds. They run our parks as volunteers. They provide great input as we develop new programs and facilities.”

The Arlington Park Amenities Score indicates the relative abundance of six popular park activities among a diverse selection of user groups (kids, teens, adults, and seniors). Overall for this category, Arlington ranks among the best in the nation for its availability of basketball hoops, dog parks, playgrounds, recreation and senior centers, permanent restrooms, and tennis courts. spray.

MORE: See how Arlington compares to other cities

In 2021, the Trust for Public Land added equity to ParkScore®. This category aligns with Arlington’s priority and vision: An equitable Arlington is one where all are valued, educated, healthy and safe, regardless of race. The equity score measures the distribution of parks across neighborhoods by race and income. This category is an average of two types of metrics.

On the first set of metrics, Arlington scores among the highest: 99 points out of 100 for people of color living within a 10-minute walk of a park and 99 points for low-income households. The second set of measures compares the spatial distribution of parks. In Arlington, residents living in neighborhoods of color have access to 36% less nearby park space than those living in white neighborhoods. And residents of lower-income neighborhoods have access to 32% less nearby park space than those in higher-income neighborhoods.

The county continues to work on initiatives to address disparities in outcomes and promote equity across the board. Arlington remains committed to making improvements so people of color and residents of low-income neighborhoods have better access to park opportunities. An important step in this direction is the opening of John Robinson, Jr. Town Square and the renovation of Jennie Dean Park in the coming weeks.

About ParkScore®

The ParkScore® Index is a national comparison of park systems in the 100 most populous cities in the United States. Published annually, the index measures park systems in five categories reflecting an excellent urban park system: access, investment, amenities, area and equity. While the rankings provide fodder for friendly competition, the purpose of releasing the index each year is to help leaders champion necessary park resources and provide relevant data to inform improvement efforts. from the local park. To facilitate a fair comparison between cities, the index aggregates all public and private organizations supporting parks in each city.

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