Minneapolis reclaims No. 1 national ranking for parks

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

Minneapolis has been recognized as the country's best parks system by the nonprofit Trust for Public Land, which publishes annual rankings of the 100 largest U.S. Cities. 

It's the fourth time in five years that Minneapolis reached first place -- it lost its No. 1 spot last year to Washington, D.C., after previously holding it since 2013. 

St. Paul, which has also consistently ranked in the top five cities, reached third place this year. 

The Trust for Public Land, which began ranking parks nine years ago, says it bases its assessments on the percentage of residents living within a 10-minute walk of a park, the city's median park size and how much of the city overall consists of parks, and quality based on park spending per resident and whether it has at least four of these key amenities: basketball hoops, off-leash dog parks, playgrounds and recreation and senior centers. 

The percentage of Minneapolis residents living within 10 minutes of a park increased from 96 percent to 98 percent this year, TPL says. Recent expansions and acquisitions also pushed it to the top spot. 

Sign up for our BREAKING NEWS newsletters

Ninety-nine percent of St. Paul residents live within a 10-minute walk to parks, but its median park size is 3.2 acres — below the national ParkScore average of 5.2 acres — resulting in its third place finish, according to TPL. 

“We are honored by the top ranking and recognize how important parks are to all Minneapolis residents, particularly during this national health crisis,” said Al Bangoura, Superintendent of the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, in a statement.

"We remain committed to providing critical park improvements and services, with a focus on the most racially diverse and economically challenged areas of the city." 

Next Up

closed sign

What's open and closed in Minnesota on Thanksgiving Day 2020?

Most services will not be running on Thursday and unlike most years, many stores will be closed, too.


How a turkey's brush with celebrity in Bloomington came to a tragic end

DNR: if you care about wild animals, stop feeding them

TCF Bank Stadium

Saturday's Gophers/Badgers football game canceled due to COVID-19 issues

The Battle for Paul Bunyan's Axe will not take place for the first time since 1906.

coronavirus, Iowa

MN health officials don't think downside of COVID-19 peak has arrived

We could be in a trough between a series of waves, Jan Malcolm said.

covid-19, coronavirus

Wisconsin reports record 104 deaths from COVID-19 Tuesday

That's roughly 10% of the total in the nation in a 24-hour period.


Husband and wife sentenced for fraud scheme through their drywall firm

The Annandale pair bilked an insurance company out of more than $300,000.


4 pedestrians suffer life-threatening injuries after being struck by vehicle

Two vehicles crashed into a car that was on the side of the road after striking a deer.

Marcus Carr

Gophers season preview: New lineup, deeper bench, more questions

Mathew Goldstein takes a deep dive into the murky waters of the college hoops season.


Photos: ViV!R, Minneapolis' new Mexican cafe and shop, is now open

The team behind the acclaimed Popol Vuh have opened the cafe in the same space.


At Wiscoy Township's sole precinct, election judges ditched masks

Voter and Wiscoy resident Kaitlyn O'Connor took a photo of the judges after asking them to wear masks, she said