Plano's ParkScore far outweighs other Texas cities

Once again, Plano is getting high marks for its park system. In its annual ParkScore index, The Trust for Public Land ranked Plano 15th out of the 100 largest U.S. cities. Last year, it ranked 18th.

One reason Plano scores so well is because it invests in its park system, spending about $210 per resident, says Robert Kent, the North Texas area director for The Trust for Public Land.

"The other thing they have down really well is park access — 75% of Plano residents can walk to a park their house within 10 minutes or less," he said. "This is above the national average of 72%.

"And pretty far above many other cities in North Texas, although Dallas is making impressive strides in catching up to that.”

Dallas ranked 52nd this year, down from 49th on the list last year. Arlington, Garland, Irving and Fort Worth scored below Dallas.

Kent says Dallas and other North Texas cities are making strides, adding more green spaces like Klyde Warren Park.

"In 2017, Dallas passed a park bond measure that had $311 million for parks all across the city," he said. "That was split between renovation of existing parks, improving existing parks as well as funding to develop new parks and trails as well."

Last year, Fort Worth passed an $84 million bond package to renovate and add new parks.

Kent says that cities across North Texas "are realizing that parks are critical to not only providing a high quality of life for their residents but also to meeting infrastructure needs, whether that is water or storm and flood management.”

Kent says parks also provide many social benefits and can help bring neighborhoods together.

Here's how all 13 Texas cities that made the list of 100 fared:

  • Plano: 15
  • Austin: 43
  • Dallas: 52
  • Corpus Christi: 66
  • Arlington: 68
  • El Paso: 71
  • San Antonio: 72
  • Garland: 80
  • Houston: 85
  • Irving: 88
  • Fort Worth: 89
  • Lubbock: 90
  • Laredo: 94

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