Public Parks

Miami’s parks rank a low 38th among nation’s 50 large cities


Considering its population-to-acreage average, Miami needs to give more land to parks, according to the Trust for Public Land.

The city of Miami’s parks ranked 38th among the 50 largest U.S. cities in the Trust for Public Land’s “ParkScore” index based on park size, ease of access and services and investment.

On a rating scale of one to five “park benches,” Miami scored two — tying with Tucson, Houston and Nashville, according to the nonprofit land conservation organization. Fort Lauderdale wasn’t rated because it’s not in the top 50. Jacksonville ranked 44th with a score of 1.5.

Peter Harnik, the director of the Trust’s Center for City Park Excellence, said Miami scored well on park access, but it was hurt by low marks for park acreage.

“Many people in Miami live within 1/2 mile of a park,” Harnik said. “Most of the parks where people live are very small. Miami needs more park land. The city is very short on playgrounds, too. It has 1.4 playgrounds for every 10,000 residents. That’s pretty low.”

The Trust said ParkScore ratings depend on three equal factors: the percentage of residents living within a 10-minute walk of a park; the city’s median park size and percentage of total acreage dedicated to parks; and the combined number of playgrounds per 10,000 residents and per capita park spending. Miami, the nation’s 42nd largest city, according to the Census Bureau, devotes only 5.2 percent of its land to parks compared with a national average of 10 percent, the Trust said. And the Magic City’s median park size was only 2.1 acres — less than half the national average of 5.9 acres.

“Miami is working hard to improve and expand its park system,” Mayor Tomas Regalado said in a news release. “Miami is a world-class city, and we are committed to creating a better park system for both residents and tourists alike to enjoy.”

Miami-Dade County, with numerous parks in its cities and unincorporated areas, was not included in the ranking system — “too many difficulties with too many park systems,” according to Harnik. “We haven’t done that yet. We hope to.”

The city with the highest ParkScore was Minneapolis with a perfect score of five park benches, followed by New York with 4.5. Seven cities — Sacramento, San Francisco, Washington, Portland, Virginia Beach, San Diego and Seattle — were tied with four. The four lowest-scoring cities were Indianapolis, Charlotte, Louisville and Fresno — all scoring one.

Read more Outdoors stories from the Miami Herald


    South Florida outdoors notebook: Seminar on bottom fishing set for July 10

    Captain Bouncer Smith will conduct a seminar on Bottom fishing from 20 feet to 2,000 feet at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, July 10, at Dusky Sportcenter, 110 N. Bryan Rd., Dania Beach. Admission is $15, redeemable for store merchandise. Call 954-922-8890.

Tyler Vick of Pawleys Island, South Carolina, holds up a nice snook caught near Flamingo in Everglades National Park.


    Snook appear to have made full recovery in Everglades National Park

    The fishing near Flamingo in Everglades National Park is so good these days you almost forget about the bloodthirsty insects descending on you and the cloying heat enveloping you the minute you get out of the car.

  • Fishing Report: Redfish are best bet in Florida Bay

    Captain Jason Sullivan of Rising Tide Charters reported having some of the best tailing redfish action he has seen in years over the flats in Florida Bay. At times he has come across schools of redfish that numbered close to 100. Captain Jon Fetter of Catching the Cure Backcountry Fishing Charters out of Fort Myers reported redfishing has been hot during the early mornings around the mangrove shorelines. Shrimp-tipped jigs have been the top redfish baits this week. Plenty of mangrove snapper can be caught along the mangrove islands and oyster bars where they are attacking shrimp-tipped jigs.

Get your Miami Heat Fan Gear!

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category