At this point, it seems like every year the city of St. Paul is getting recognized for its fantastic public park system, which typically ranks at the top or near the top in every single category. Most rankings are based on park access, acreage, upkeep, and facilities, and if you’re someone who already calls St. Paul home, chances are you’re like the thousands of other Twin Cities residents who love staying active and being outside, making the parks and open green spaces in both Minneapolis and St. Paul essential to the lifestyle and daily routine of so many.
In 2015, The Trust for Public Land’s annual rankings of big city parks put St. Paul at the top of the list, which was only the first year of its eligibility thanks to the rankings now including the 75 largest cities as opposed to just the 60 largest cities in the country. As a side note, Minneapolis placed a close second. But while St. Paul’s top ranking is certainly an honor for city officials and specifically the St. Paul Parks & Recreation Department, just what exactly makes the city’s park system so special? Well, according to the data, here’s a glimpse into how Trust for Public Land came to its conclusion:
First, the median size of parks in St. Paul is 3.7 acres, which despite being smaller than the median size of parks in nearby Minneapolis, 6.8 acres, St. Paul parks still encompass a much larger area than in most other cities around the U.S. Furthermore, it’s also estimated that St. Paul spends roughly $214 per resident on its parks—a figure that truly show’s the city’s commitment to providing adequate outdoor recreation and amenities to anybody who calls the St. Paul area home.
As for individual park amenities, St. Paul is touted as having 4.1 basketball hoops per 10,000 residents, which is significantly more than Minneapolis’ 1.7 hoops by comparison. Playgrounds are also an important element to any park, and St Paul’s 3.9 playgrounds per 10,000 residents also edges out Minneapolis’ 2.8 playgrounds just slightly.
Regardless of whether you call St. Paul home or its neighbor to the west home, it’s probably safe to say the all Twin Cities residents are happy with the first and second place rankings, regardless of which city places where.