Long Beach Parks, Recreation and Marine (PRM) has risen to number 18 among the 100 largest U.S. cities in the Trust for Public Land’s (TPL) 2019 Parkscore Index survey, according to the City of Long Beach in a press release this week.
Last year, the City was ranked 21st.
“Long Beach residents and visitors enjoy exceptional parks and open space areas,” said Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia. “This ranking is a testament to the efforts of Parks, Recreation, and Marine Department staff who provide leisure programs, maintain parks, beaches and marinas and work to add and improve recreational open spaces.”
The TPL ranking was based on four characteristics of an effective park system– access, investment, acreage, and amenities.
PRM was commended for its walkable park access, as 81 percent of residents live within a 10-minute walk to a park. Also noted was the City’s investment in parks and recreation at $171 per resident, compared to the national median of $80 per resident.
PRM also stood out for the number of community centers, senior centers and off-leash dog recreation areas serving residents throughout the City.
“Our park system is part of what provides a great quality of life in the City of Long Beach,” said Gerardo Mouet, PRM director. “We are proud of our efforts to provide recreational open space within walking distance for most residents. In that last 18 months, we created new greenbelts with walking paths and bike trails, opened three artificial turf sports fields, five playgrounds, a new 12-acre wetlands at Willow Springs Park and the new 34-acre DeForest Wetlands project with restored habitats and flood control capabilities. We are also constructing a new 6,500-square-foot community center in north Long Beach.
As the City continues to improve its parks experience for residents and visitors, PRM is developing a strategic plan that will engage the community in identifying goals and priorities for PRM for the next 10 years.
Editor’s note: Information about PRM’s new strategic-plan development is also available in this issue.