Cincinnati Parks System Named One of America's Best in New Report

According to an annual report from the Trust for Public Land, Cincinnati's parks are top 5 in America.

click to enlarge Cherry trees in bloom at Ault Park - PHOTO: CINCINNATI PARKS
Photo: Cincinnati Parks
Cherry trees in bloom at Ault Park

The city of Cincinnati is home to more than 5,000 acres of parkland. And it turns out, that greenspace is some of the best in America.

According to the annual ParkScore Index Report from the Trust for Public Land, Cincinnati's parks system ranks No. 4 in the nation. That's up four spots from 2021's showing at No. 8 and up one spot from our No. 5 title in 2020

Washington, D.C. took home the No. 1 ranking this year.

"Cincinnati Parks’ annual ranking as a top urban park system is a testament to our beautiful city, which has been planned so masterfully around its parks, recreation, schools, and greenspaces throughout all 52 neighborhoods," says Jennifer Spieser, executive director of the Cincinnati Parks Foundation, in a release.

The ParkScore Index Report looks at the 100 largest cities in America and rates them based on five factors: park equity, access, acreage, investment and amenities.

According to the report, 88% of residents live within a 10-minute walk from a park. And the Queen City received high marks for park investment and amenities (both 92 out of 100) and access (82 out of 100), with numbers in the 60s for acreage (60 out of 100) and equity (69 out of 100).

The report says 17% of the city's land is used for park space; 19% is the national median. And that 88% of low-income households and 88% of people of color are within at 10-minute walk to a park, with .96 as much park space in neighborhoods of color compared to white neighborhoods and .77 as much park space in low-income versus high-income neighborhoods.

It also found that "residents in neighborhoods where most people identify as a person of color have access to 4% less park space per person than those in predominantly white neighborhoods" and "residents in low-income neighborhoods have access to 23% less park space per person than those in high-income neighborhoods."

In addition to its data, the Trust for Public Land has created a map to help the city "pinpoint where to focus park investments." View that at parkserve.tpl.org.

“While we are thrilled with the ranking, we’re not satisfied," says Jim Goetz, the president of the Cincinnati Board of Park Commissioners, in the release. "Another benefit we are excited about is the extensive, in-depth analysis we received from the Trust. We will use this information to work with our partners to identify ways to improve as an organization for all those we serve.”

According to the Trust for Public Land, Cincinnati has 364 parks, which a release from Cincinnati Parks says includes properties managed by the Cincinnati Park Board as well as partners the Cincinnati Recreation Commission, Cincinnati Public Schools and the Hillside Trust. Spaces include "5 regional parks, 70 neighborhood parks, 34 natural areas, 6 neighborhood nature centers, 30 sites managed by the Cincinnati Recreation Commission, 5 parkways, 16 scenic overlooks, 2 arboretums and 65 miles of hiking and bridle trails," per the release.

See the full results and methodology for the Trust for Public Land's ParkScore Index Report at tpl.org.


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