Forest Meadow Park

Dallas was ranked No. 53 of the 100 most-populous cities in the United States in a recent study on parks.

Cities were classified according to access, investment, acreage, amenities and equity in a 2022 Trust for Public Land study.

Here’s how those terms are defined:

  • Access: Portion of residents who live within a 10-minute walk to a park
  • Investment: How much is spent on parks per resident
  • Acreage: Median park size and percent of area dedicated to parks
  • Amenities: Six features, including dog parks and basketball hoops, that are popular for park users
  • Equity: Distribution of parks and park acres according to race and income

A score was assigned to each category for each city. The highest score possible was 100. Here’s how Dallas scored.

  • Access: 59
  • Investment: 51
  • Acreage: 58
  • Amenities: 25
  • Equity: 67

Among Texas cities, Plano was ranked at No. 15; Austin at No. 39; San Antonio at No. 59; Arlington at No. 68; Houston at No. 70; Fort Worth at No. 86; Garland at No. 91; and Irving at No. 98.

Access and Equity

In Dallas, 73% of residents can walk to a park in 10 minutes. The median for the 100 cities analyzed was 75%, so Dallas is right about in the middle.

Access to parks is also consistent across income levels in Dallas, where 75% of residents with high incomes and 72% of residents with middle and low incomes live within a 10-minute walk to a park.

The study also included race in its analysis of access to park space. Predominantly Asian neighborhoods have 17% less access than the city median, whereas Black neighborhoods have 40% more access. Hispanic and Latinx neighbors have 12% less access, and white neighborhoods have 14% more access.

Investment

Dallas spends $109 per person on parks.

Of that, $85 comes from city agencies, $20 comes from private organizations and $4 comes from monetized volunteer hours.

The national average of park spending per capita is $98.

Acreage

In Dallas, 10% of the city land is used for parks and recreation. This is below the median for the 100 most-populous cities, 19%.

Dallas has 471 parks. Use this link to see where they are on a map.

Amenities

Dallas parks have 2.8 basketball hoops per 10,000 people; 0.5 dog parks per 10,000 people; 1.9 playgrounds per 10,000 people; 0.1 bathrooms per 10,000 people; 0.6 recreation and senior centers per 20,000 people; and 1.2 splash pads per 100,000 people.