Long Beach One of Four Cities to Improve on Public Land’s ParkScore Index

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Rainbow Harbor Park

Photo by Barbara Holbrook, EverythingLongBeach.com

The City of Long Beach is one of only four large U.S. cities to improve its rating on The Trust for Public Land’s ParkScore index, earning three “park benches” this year, up from 2.5 in 2012, thanks largely to an increase in local park access.

“I’m delighted to see that our efforts to create parks where residents can play, relax and enjoy nature have been recognized,” Mayor Bob Foster said. “The City has worked hard to improve Long Beach parks.”

ParkScore ratings are based equally on three factors: Park access (the percentage of residents living within a 10-minute walk, or approximately ½-mile, of a park); park size (median park size and the percentage of total city area dedicated to parks); and services and investment (which combines the number of playgrounds per 10,000 city residents and per capita park spending).

Long Beach was one of only four cities, together with New York, Atlanta and Fresno, to improve its park bench rating in 2013. The city jumped to 3.0 benches from 2.5, thanks largely to an increase in local park access. Currently, 78 percent of Long Beach residents live within a 10-minute walk of a park, well above the national median of 64 percent. In 2012, 70 percent of Long Beach residents lived within a 10-minute walk of a park.

The City of Long Beach recently opened Baker Street Mini Park in a neighborhood that previously had no parkland within a 1/2-mile radius. The park included a universally accessible playground. In addition, a new playground was just added to McBride Park with funding from the Los Angeles Clippers. Four additional parks are in development in neighborhoods identified as deficient in parkland.

According to ParkScore, the City of Long Beach has 1.49 playgrounds per 10,000 residents, compared to the national median of 2.05 per 10,000 residents; and a median park size of 3.2 acres, compared to the national median of 5.1 acres.

For more information about ParkScore, visit www.parkscore.tpl.org .

About Long Beach Parks, Recreation and Marine
Long Beach Parks, Recreation and Marine serves a diverse community of over 462,000 residents. Programs and services are offered at 162 parks with 26 community centers, two historic sites, two major tennis centers, one of the busiest municipal golf systems in the country with five courses. More than 3,100 acres within the City’s 50 square miles are developed for recreation.

The Department offers recreation programs from arts and cultural, sports and fitness, and enrichment subjects for all ages from pre-school to senior citizen. More than 2800 recreational and educational classes are offered each year.

The Department is a three-time recipient of the National Parks and Recreation Society’s “Gold Medal” award for outstanding management practices and programs. www.lbparks.org.

About The Trust for Public Land
Founded in 1972, The Trust for Public Land is the leading nonprofit working to conserve land for people. Operating from more than 30 offices nationwide, The Trust for Public Land has protected more than three million acres from the inner city to the wilderness and helped generate more than $34 billion in public funds for conservation. Nearly ten million people live within a ten-minute walk of a Trust for Public Land park, garden, or natural area, and millions more visit these sites every year. Learn more at tpl.org .

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