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Fresno Improves Park Rating But Remains In Last Place

May 21, 2015

A new national ranking of American cities shows Fresno is making progress in providing access to public parks and green space.

However, the gains are limited. The city moved from last place in 2014 to tied for last this year.

Abby Martin with the Trust for Public land, which releases a yearly ranking of 75 US cities, says several new parks set to open this year helped Fresno’s score.

“Out of 100 points, this year Fresno scored 31. As opposed to last year where Fresno scored 26 points,” Martin said.

A lack of public parks has long been a complaint about the city and has not escaped the notice of city leaders.

At a recent announcement of a proposed increases in park funding, Mayor Ashley Swearengin says the city is planning at a move from 3-acres of parks space per 1000 residents to 5 acres.

“Just to give you a sense of scale, to achieve that standard we will need to add 38-hundred acres of parks space in our community,” Swearengin said.

In addition to investing more in existing parks, at least three new parks are set to open this year including a universally accessible park for adults and children with special needs.

Another valley city, Bakersfield, finished 50th.