D.C. scored fifth in nation for best parks

The District placed fifth nationally out of 40 cities for best parks in a studying conducted by the nonprofit Trust for Public Land. Hatchet File Photo

The District, a city known worldwide for its sprawling, 2-mile long National Mall, was ranked fifth in the nation for best green spaces in a report released May 23 by the Trust for Public Land.

An analysis by ParkScore – the nation’s largest national nonprofit devoted to neighborhood parks – gave the District a 71.5 on a 100-point scale. The city excelled in categories like the spending per resident and total land acreage as parks, but trailed in median park size and playground per 10,000 residents.

San Francisco topped the list, followed by Sacramento, Boston and New York, out of 40 cities.

Out of D.C.’s roughly 44,000 acres of city space, 7,464 acres are devoted to parklands – about 19 percent of the city’s area, according to the scoring profile. The largest park is Rock Creek, totaling out at 1,754 acres, despite its average park size of .7 acres. Each resident contributes an average of $300 to city parks, the report showed.

The ranking comes at a time when D.C. is ramping up its efforts to improve areas of the National Mall, its oldest park established in 1790. Renovations for the Constitution Gardens near Constitution Avenue and 17th Street, the Washington Monument lawn, and Union Square is slated to begin in 2014.

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