Minneapolis no longer has the best parks system in the country

It's dropped to 3rd, with St. Paul in 2nd.
Publish date:

After three years at No. 1, Minneapolis' reign of having the "best parks system" in the United States has come to an end.

In the latest rankings published by The Truth for Public Land on Wednesday, Washington D.C. has displaced Minneapolis at the top of the table.

Minneapolis has slipped to 3rd place, one spot behind its neighbor St. Paul, which has stayed in 2nd once again.

The Trust for Public Land grades cities based on the proximity of its public parks to its residents, as well as the amount of park area, recreational amenities, and the amount of public spending dedicated to parks.

Now it appears to be the case that it's not so much about Minneapolis doing worse than it is Washington D.C. doing better, though MPR notes that population growth in Minneapolis may also be causing it to slide down the rankings in terms of park proximity and per-capita spending.

The Trust for Public Land found that 96 percent of Minneapolis residents live within a 10-minute walk of a park, while in St. Paul it's 98 percent.

To understand how lucky we have it in the Twin Cities, the national average is just 54 percent.

Sign up: Subscribe to our daily newsletters

The study also found that Minneapolis has a larger area of parkland than St. Paul, and slightly more parks in total at 266 to 264, but St. Paul scored higher for amenities.

Minneapolis was in the 89th percentile for number of playgrounds and 99th percentile for recreation and senior centers, while St. Paul is in the 92nd percentile for basketball hoops and 90th percentile for public bathrooms.

Minneapolis however was in the 15th percentile for "splash pads," probably because, you know, they can only operate about 4 months of the year.

Next Up


West-central MN cops warn kids to stay off ice, or 'Santa won't come'

This comes amid repeated ice warnings across the state.

covid-19, coronavirus, PPE

Nov. 29 COVID-19 update: 57 deaths, nearly 9,000 more cases

Nearly 100,000 tests were included in Sunday's report.

jim ramstad

Watch former Rep. Jim Ramstad's memorial service online

The ceremony will be live-streamed for the public on Sunday.


How high can Rashod Bateman go in the 2021 NFL Draft?

The Gophers star receiver has plenty of praise heading into next April.

TCF Bank Stadium

15 more from Gopher football team test positive for COVID-19

That brings the total number of cases from this outbreak to 40.

Teddy Bridgewater

5 questions for Vikings-Panthers Week 12 NFC battle

The Vikings welcome Teddy Bridgewater back to U.S. Bank Stadium on Sunday.

police lights

Shelter-in-place in Albert Lea after police officer shot in the chest

The officer was able to drive to an emergency room.


St. Paul officer shoots man who got out of dumpster, ran towards police

A report says the man was naked and had a steak knife.

Screen Shot 2020-11-28 at 6.58.11 PM

Gophers dominate second half to defeat Loyola-Marymount

Marcus Carr scored 26 to send the Gophers to 2-0.

Ambulance hospital emergency

Kandiyohi Co. man airlifted after hand caught in corn picker

Corn pickers are a common cause of farm accidents.

White tail deer

DNR: Passenger shot at deer out of driver's side window

The DNR said 'all sense of safety was disregarded.'


Best parks in the country: Minneapolis 1st, St. Paul 2nd

Park size is the only thing keeping St. Paul from the top spot.

bike trail at Lake Calhoun Park Bde Maka Ska 2015 flickr

Minneapolis reclaims No. 1 national ranking for parks

St. Paul landed third place in the Trust for Public Land's assessment.

Minneapolis, St. Paul are no longer the fittest cities in America

Last year it was the fittest metro, now it's settling for 2nd and 8th places.

New York Times tells America: Be more like the Twin Cities

It's because of our extensive public parks system.

Minneapolis Parks considers removing 'Calhoun' from several street names

It comes after the lake's name was officially changed to Bde Maka Ska last year.

bike trail at Lake Calhoun Park Bde Maka Ska 2015 flickr

Minneapolis Parks Board president: Stop crowding or parks will close

Gov. Tim Walz had expressed concern over high numbers of people at Minneapolis lakes at the weekend.