Study: Houston Has Lots Of Park Space But It’s Not Always Easy To Get There

Many Houston families will be enjoying the city’s green space this summer, places like Memorial Park and Hermann Park. But according to a new study Houston ranks low in park accessibility.


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When it comes to the amount of park space, Houston has close to 53,000 acres. But in its new scorecard on park accessibility, The Trust for Public Land puts Houston near the bottom of the list. The city ranks 81st out of the country's 100 largest cities.

The study says only 47% percent of Houston residents live within a ten-minute walk from a park. The national average is 66%.

The Trust for Public Land's Charlie McCabe says if someone lives close enough to walk to a park they're more likely to actually use it.

"You don't have to put the bike on the car, you don't have to get the kids in the car and the car seat in the car," says McCabe. "You can just kind of walk and take them in the stroller."

But McCabe says Houston may be close to improving its park score. New linear parks are being developed as part of the Bayou Greenways effort.

"You have one in the south, Sims Bayou. And then you have two in the north and northeast, Hunting and Halls Bayous," explains McCabe. "So just adding that capability and that facility will improve the park score in those specific areas."

So how does Houston stack up against other big cities? Minneapolis ranked first for park accessibility while Indianapolis came in last.

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Gail Delaughter

Gail Delaughter

Transportation Reporter

From early-morning interviews with commuters to walks through muddy construction sites, Gail covers all aspects of getting around Houston. That includes walking, driving, cycling, taking the bus, and occasionally flying. Before she became transportation reporter in 2011, Gail hosted weekend programs for Houston Public Media. She's also covered courts in...

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