Kermit must not have been to Dallas when he said “it ain’t easy being green.”
Dallas ranks 43rd in the nation on the 2023 national ParkScore Index, a 10 spot increase from last year’s ranking, Trust for Public Land announced today.
The ParkScore index evaluates park systems in the 100 most populous U.S. cities. Plano ranked highest in Texas at 16th.
Trailing Dallas was Arlington, which tied Laredo for 74th, and Fort Worth at 88th.
Dallas’s jump in the rankings is due to increased park investment and improved park amenities, Trust for Public Land said. Dallas now spends $124 per resident on its park system, an increase of $15 per resident since 2022. The national ParkScore average is $108.
“I am incredibly proud that Dallas is developing innovative green spaces at an unprecedented pace,” Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson said in a statement. “Parks are critical infrastructure in a modern city, and now is the time to take to the next level our efforts to make Dallas greener and greater for all. As the single biggest champion of Dallas’ park system, I am committed to ensuring Dallas becomes the city with the highest level of park access in Texas.”
Washington DC took the gold for the index for the third year in a row, with 24% of land in the city being used for parks and green spaces.
Boise, Idaho, which ranked 22nd, was awarded the best park system for dogs with 7.5 dog parks per 100,000 residents.
St. Paul, Minnesota, is the best city for pickup basketball players, Las Vegas, Nevada, scored best for playgrounds, and Boston, Massachusetts, took first for water features and splash pads.
In addition to the ParkScore Index, Trust for Public Land also released a study showing that cities with a higher park score are healthier places to live.