May 28, 2024 - News

Portland's parks are ranked 9th in the nation

A rose garden in a park

Portland parks are the ninth best in the nation according to a new survey. Photo: Greg Vaughn/Getty Images

From trail-packed Forest Park to neighborhood pocket squares, Portland's parks system is among the country's best, compared to other major cities, new data shows.

Why it matters: Green spaces are good for body and mind, and hold "tremendous potential for repairing ​​our frayed social fabric," nonprofit Trust for Public Land (TPL) wrote in its 2024 report.

Driving the news: Among TPL's annual parks rating Portland was ranked No. 9 among the 100 most populous cities in the country, the same as last year.

  • Washington, D.C., was No. 1, Seattle was No. 6 and San Francisco was No. 7.

By the numbers: Portland, which has 154 developed parks and more than 14,000 acres of recreational and open space, scored 74 out of a possible 100 on TPL's annual ranking.

  • The score takes into account the percentage of residents living within a 10-minute walk to a park — in Portland, that's 91% — access in communities of color, acreage, amenities and the city's financial investment in parks.

The big picture: In Portland, the Parks & Recreation Bureau spends about $233 per resident on parks, compared to the national average of $124, according to the report.

  • But the city's parks scored a moderate 56 for equity. While about 90% of people of color and low-income people live within a 10-minute walk of a park, the report found they have about 60% less park space than white people.

What they're saying: Portland's parks are about more than pretty plants and views. Parks spokesperson Mark Ross told Axios the city is excited to increase access and make "amazing programming possible."

What to watch: Berrydale Park, at SE 92nd Avenue and Salmon Street, will get a renovated playground and new skatepark, accessible park pathways, tables, lighting, furnishings and new landscaping by fall 2025, under a levy voters passed in 2020.

  • And starting June 24 at 20 parks citywide is the summertime program of free outdoor movies on inflatable screens, concerts (including Sheila E) and the Free Lunch + Play.
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