LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) – Great weather means park days for Kentuckians. A recent report by the Trust for Public Land has ranked the park systems in the 100 largest U.S. cities. Who has come out on top in Kentucky?

Trust for Public Land announced on May 4, that Washington, D.C., was rated the nation’s best park system, according to the 2022 ParkScore index. Saint Paul, Minnesota, placed second, just ahead of Arlington, Virginia, and Cincinnati, Ohio.

Kentucky’s neighbor, Cincinnati, reached the top 5 for the first time in ParkScore index history, according to a news release. 

Lexington parks

Lexington tied with Tampa, Florida, at 60th. Lexington’s strongest marks were in park acreage, equity, and amenities.

A total of 238 parks make up 2% of Lexington’s space compared to the median of 19% of the 100 cities featured in ParkScore. According to the report, 66% of people live within a 10-minute walk of a park, with 75% of low-income residents being closest to parks compared to 69% of middle income and 61% of high-income earners.

The top amenities for Lexington parks were dog parks and basketball hoops but fell short in recreation and senior centers, and bathrooms. 

According to the report, Lexington spends about $98 per capita.

Lexington summer guide:

Louisville parks

Louisville parks fell far behind Lexington. Louisville ranked 90th largely due to failing in access and equity. The only area Louisville outperformed Lexington in was in investment, with Derby City coming in 3 points higher. Louisville did spend the same amount per capita as Lexington, $98.

A total of 170 parks make up 8% of Louisville’s space compared to the median of 19% of the 100 cities featured in ParkScore. According to the report, 39% of people live within a 10-minute walk of a park, with 49% of low-income residents being closest to parks compared to 37% of middle income and 31% of high-income earners.

Louisville has an access problem, according to the report.

“Residents in neighborhoods where most people identify as a person of color have access to 68% less park space per person than those in predominantly white neighborhoods,” reads the study. Lexington does see the same trend, but it is at a much smaller percentage, 6%.

The top amenities for Louisville parks were dog parks and basketball hoops but fell short in recreation and senior centers, and bathrooms. 

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