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Sacramento ranks 30th among 100 most populous U.S. cities for its public parks, survey shows

Sacramento ranks high on top parks list
Sacramento ranks high on top parks list 02:16

SACRAMENTO — A new survey shows Sacramento is one of the top spots in the nation for public parks with a diverse range of activities for all ages.

It also shows Sacramento is below average when it comes to spending.

Basketball hoops in Roosevelt Park are pretty popular, but a new survey shows there are only 175 public basketball courts in the entire city. According to the ParkScore index, Sacramento should have more than double that amount.

It's just one of the findings in a nationwide report by the Trust For Public Land organization.

The index ranks Sacramento as being the 30th best overall city in the nation for public parks—ahead of larger cities like Miami and Dallas.

"I'm pretty proud of what we've done," said Dana Repan, a Sacramento city park planner.

Repan said the top-30 ranking comes amid a looming $66 million city budget deficit.

"What we've been able to do is pretty amazing with just the tight resources that we have," Repan said.

Sacramento gets a perfect score for the number of dog parks and splash pads it has built. It also gets high marks for accessibility as 85% of the population lives within a ten-minute walk to a park.

"People need a variety of places to go to, to just connect with nature, to connect with each other for community," Repan said.

The report gives Sacramento a low score for the amount of money it spends on parks, which is just $124 a year per capita.

The city recently used a state grant to increase the size of Sutter's Landing Park, but it still has a multi-million dollar backlog in park maintenance costs.

"We can't keep adding parks and facilities without having secure funding to maintain those," Repan said.

As for basketball hoops, the city hopes to rebound by adding more indoor courts in the future.

"That number is going to be going up," Repan said.

Washington, D.C., is ranked number one on the ParkScore survey. The top city in California is Irvine, which holds the number four spot.

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