San Antonio Scores Near the Bottom in a Ranking of Public Parks

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While facilities such as Phil Hardberger Park have improved San Antonio's greenspace, it still lacks parks in many neighborhoods.
  • While facilities such as Phil Hardberger Park have improved San Antonio's greenspace, it still lacks parks in many neighborhoods.
Anyone who's driven to five miles to push their kid on a swing knows the score — not a lot of San Antonio neighborhoods have parks within walking distance.

That reality is reflected in the Trust for Public Land's newly released ParkScore rankings, which rate the nation's 100 biggest cities on the quality and availability of parks. San Antonio came in at 67.



While that's better than Texas cities such as Houston (77), El Paso (78) and Fort Worth (82), let's not take a celebratory spin on the merry-go-round. Austin (42), Dallas (49) and Corpus Christi (61) all scored higher.

The ParkScore ratings factor in park access, acreage and amenities plus a city's per-resident spending on parks. Other factors include restrooms, volunteer hours and charitable contributions to park projects.



Some of S.A. park amenities, including the number of basketball hoops and playgrounds, left a lot to be desired, according to its score. But the poorest showing was on the percentage of the population living within a ten-minute walk of a public park.

The Alamo City boasts world-class greenspaces such as the historic, river-facing Brackenridge Park and the multi-ecosystem Phil Hardberger Park. But its lackluster score suggests it has a long way to go bringing public land to all its neighborhoods.

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