Nonprofit ranks San Francisco top in nation for park access

SAN FRANCISCO (BCN)--San Francisco has become the first and only city in the United States where every resident lives within a 10-minute walk of a park, according to figures released today by a national organization.

The Trust for Public Land today released the results as part of its Park Score, an assessment of the 100 largest cities in the country.

The nonprofit uses a 10-minute walk, or a distance of half of a mile, as a standard for evaluating the accessibility of urban park systems.

"Most city residents won't walk more than 10 minutes to get to shopping, transit, or parks, so close-to-home access to parks is vital for public health, clean environments, and thriving, equitable communities," said
Adrian Benepe, the trust's senior vice president and urban parks director.

Mayor Ed Lee announced the city's achievement at Hilltop Park in the Bayview District. The park reopened last year following a $6.9 million renovation that included an improved skate park, a new playground, a picnic
area and an adult fitness area.

"In San Francisco, we want everyone to enjoy the prosperity of this city, which is why it is particularly meaningful that we have a parks system that is accessible and enjoyable for all of our residents," Lee said
in a statement.

The city has invested $355 million in parks and open space projects under Lee's administration, and the mayor has designated $84.4 million in capital funding for Recreation and Parks projects in the upcoming
two-year budget. That amount is an 81 percent increase from 2015 levels, according to the mayor's office.

The city has added new parks and other facilities in recent years including the Golden Gate Park CommUNITY Garden, Interior Greenbelt, Geneva Community Garden, Noe Valley Town Square, 17th and Folsom Street Parks, Francisco Reservoir and 900 Innes Ave., also known as Indian Basin.