Arlington's Park System Ranked Among Nation's Best

Published on May 26, 2016

  • Trust for Public Land ranks County 4th among 100 largest cities

  • 98 percent of residents can walk to a park in 10 minutes or less

  • County spends $234.58 per resident annually on parks

When it comes to public park systems, Arlington's ranks near the top of the nation's 100 largest cities. That's according to the Trust for Public Land's ParkScore® index, which recently ranked the County fourth on its list. Neighboring Washington, DC ranked third, with Minneapolis edging out neighboring Saint Paul for the top spot.

"This is a testament to our community and the importance they place on parks," said Jane Rudolph, Director of Arlington County Parks.  "Parks provide close-to-home opportunities to exercise, experience nature. They also serve as meeting places where friendships are built and a sense of community is strengthened."

Rankings were based on Park Access (98% of Arlington residents can walk to a park in 10 minutes or less), Park Size (Arlington's average park is 2.1 acres) and Facilities and Investment (Arlington spends $234.58 per resident on its parks). 

Community Survey data reinforces community commitment

The 2015 Community Satisfaction Survey indicated that 87 percent of Arlington residents are satisfied with the quality of park and recreation programs and walking and biking trails, and 86 percent are satisfied with the way parks are maintained. A more recent 2015 Parks and Recreation Needs Assessment found that the community wants to invest in the future by maintaining and preserving existing natural areas; acquiring open space; improving pedestrian and bicycle access to existing parks; increasing fitness and aquatics opportunities; and access to more special events. 

POPS: A Plan for Our Places and Spaces

Arlington is in the process of updating the 2005 Public Space Master Plan, a planning document with themes and recommendations that provide the framework to guide the stewardship of Arlington's public spaces for future generations to enjoy. The community and park and recreation stakeholders are fully engaged in the process. Learn more about this initiative and upcoming opportunities to share ideas. 

Arlington Park Facts

  • Parkland: 1,786 acres

  • People served per park acre: 124

  • Oldest municipal park: Glencarlyn Park, est. 1940

  • Largest municipal park: Glencarlyn Park, 96 acres

  • Most-visited municipal park: Long Bridge Park

Arlington Stats

  • Geographic area: 15,878 acres

  • Median park size: 2.1 acres

  • Park land as % of city area: 11.2 %

  • Spending per resident: $234.58

  • Basketball Hoops per 10,000: 4.0

  • Dog Parks per 100,000 Residents: 3.6

  • Playgrounds per 10,000: 4.6

  • Recreation / Senior Centers per 20,000 Residents: 1.5

  • Population density: 14.0 per acre

ParkScore Top Ten Rankings

  1. Minneapolis

  2. Saint Paul

  3. Washington, DC

  4. Arlington, VA

  5. San Francisco

  6. Portland, OR

  7. New York

  8. Irvine

  9. Boston

  10. Cincinnati (tie)

  11. Madison, WI (tie)