St. Paul parks ranked No. 2, Minneapolis slips to No. 5 in U.S. rankings

Although many Minnesotans have been grappling with the fact that weather hasn’t provided much opportunity to be in them yet, the parks of Minneapolis and St. Paul have again placed highly in the annual ParkScore index rankings.

The Trust for Public Land announced Wednesday that St. Paul ranked second, while Minneapolis placed fifth in its 2022 ParkScore index – Washington, DC, successfully defended its ParkScore title from last year, coming in at No. 1. 

According to the rankings, Minneapolis slid slightly from a third-place result last year, though the Twin Cities have consistently ranked among the top U.S. park systems. In all the years they have been included in the ParkScore index. neither one of the Twin Cities has ranked outside the top five.  

A news release says 95% of St. Paul residents, and more than 98% of Minneapolis residents live within a 10-minute walk of park, which exceeds the national ParkScore average of 75%. 

Both city park systems also received strong marks for park amenities and ranked among the top 10 for park investment. According to ParkScore data, St. Paul invests $247 per person in its local park system and Minneapolis invests $317, both far above the national ParkScore average of $98. Positive steps taken by both Cincinnati, Ohio, and Arlington, Virginia, caused Minneapolis to place lower in the rankings this year, according to the announcement. 

"We are grateful to continuously be named one of the best parks and recreation systems in the country," St. Paul Parks and Recreation Interim Director Tom Russell said in a statement. "Access to high-quality outdoor space is vital to creating livable and sustainable neighborhoods and we will continue to work hard to meet the needs of all who call St. Paul home."   

According to Trust for Public Land, the 10 highest-ranking park systems in the United States are:

1. Washington, DC            
2. St. Paul, MN           
3. Arlington, VA                    
4. Cincinnati, OH                  
5. Minneapolis, MN        
6. Chicago, IL                     
7. San Francisco, CA            
8. Irvine, CA                        
9. Seattle, WA                   
10. New York, NY