Arlington’s Park System Ranked Top Five in the Nation

Published on May 22, 2024

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Arlington County’s park system has been ranked in the top five of the nation’s 100 largest cities by the Trust for Public Land's ParkScore®. This marks seven consecutive years of a top-five ranking, a reflection of Arlington’s park system reaching new heights in many areas, including improved scores for access to outdoor public parkland in low-income neighborhoods.

"I am very proud of this achievement for our staff and community," said Jane Rudolph, Director of Arlington County’s Department of Parks and Recreation. "This recognition is a testament to the hard work and intention behind our planning, maintenance, programming, and overall stewardship of our parks and recreational spaces. Recent years have taught us that our public outdoor amenities are some of the most vital sources of our health and wellbeing."

Arlington’s 2024 ParkScore®

Arlington ranked fifth on this year’s list with an overall ParkScore® of 79.2 out of 100 points. Scoring is based on the following categories:

  • Acreage – Across 26 square miles, Arlington has over 950 acres of County-owned parkland.
  • Access – 99% of Arlingtonians live within a 10-minute walk of a park with public access.
  • Equity – Arlington earned points this year for increased park acreage and improved access in low-income neighborhoods.
  • Investment – Arlington invests $303 in annual park investments per resident.
  • Amenities – Arlington earned extra points this year for an increased number of playgrounds and received high rankings across the board for basketball hoops, dog parks, senior and recreation centers, and splashpads.

READ: Full Breakdown of Arlington’s ParkScore®

Planning the Future of Arlington’s Outdoor Spaces

The Department of Parks and Recreation continues to forge a path towards better accessibility and conservation of Arlington’s natural spaces. Implementation for the recently adopted Forestry and Natural Resources Plan is underway, ensuring the management of Arlington’s natural resources across public and private land.

The County is also working on a new tree canopy study that will share the most current and accurate data about our urban forest which will be released later this year. This is also an exciting year for major park renovations and master planning processes such as the Gateway Park Project— envisioning an even brighter future for Arlington’s outdoor spaces.

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