Reporting Tim Williams
BALTIMORE (WJZ)—A new study ranks Baltimore among the top urban areas for its parks.
As Tim Williams explains, easy access is just one factor that launched the city’s status.
A garden growing in Reservoir Hill is just one of the neighborhood park areas contributing to Baltimore’s standing among urban areas across the country.
“The parks have lots of amenities, from swimming pools to basketball courts to tennis courts, playground equipment. There’s a little bit of green space, picnic tables, somewhere to sit under the shade of a tree,” said Bill Vondrasek, Recreation & Parks.
There are about 270 separate parks sites in the city.
The study from the nonprofit group Trust for Public Land says Baltimore ranks 15th among a list of 40 cities across the country.
“They judged us on how much of our acreage was in parks. We were kind of right in the middle there. How big our parks were. In general we have a lot of smaller parks compared to other cities,” Vondrasek said.
Baltimore’s parks range in size from Druid Hill Park and Gwynns Falls which is 1,200 acres to Mullan Park in Northeast Baltimore that’s about an acre.
“The great thing about having so many small locations is that they are easily accessible to all the city residents. They’re close. It doesn’t take more than 10 minutes to walk to a city park,” Vondrasek said.
Accessibility was a key factor in the ranking, along with park size and city investment in public land.
And while 85 percent of the population lives within a short walk to a park, the study says the city doesn’t put enough money into the park system–although many individual neighborhoods do.
The amount of money the city spends per resident to enjoy the parks is the main negative mark on the rating.