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Albuquerque Scores High for Expanding Parks and Access to Green Spaces

2022 ParkScore Index shows Albuquerque making strides

December 28, 2022

ALBUQUERQUE –The Parks and Recreation Department (PRD) made major progress and accomplished important milestones in 2022. Most notably, Albuquerque’s park system was ranked 34th out of the 100 largest American cities in the ParkScore Index, moving up three positions from 2021. The ParkScore Index is issued annually by the Trust for Public Land and evaluates local park systems based on 14 measures across five categories: access, investment, amenities, acreage and equity.

The city continued to score high in several categories, including “Acreage” and “Access.” Albuquerque has one of the highest scores in the entire country for percentage of the City’s overall area dedicated to parkland (29%) and 91% of the Albuquerque population lives within a 10-minute walk of a park. Albuquerque’s 2022 park “Investment” score also doubled from 2021. Albuquerque’s park system is ranked higher than other cities in the region such as Austin (40th), Dallas (53rd), Colorado Springs (58th), Tucson (72nd), and Phoenix (84th).

“Great parks make great cities,” said Parks and Recreation Director Dave Simon. “But it’s not just about a score—it’s about recognizing and increasing the tremendous community benefits we get from parks.”

To continue to make park access more equitable for residents, PRD has been prioritizing improvements to parks in low-income and diverse neighborhoods, including projects at Los Altos, Wilson, Barelas, Daniel Webster, Phil Chacon, and Bullhead parks, as well as creating new “Neighborhood Open Space” programs to increase access to nature-based programs. The entire ParkScore ranking can be found here.

In addition to the improvements in Albuquerque’s 2022 ParkScore, PRD also highlighted some major accomplishments in parks, trails, and open space programs in 2022, including:

  • Completed over $1 million in Balloon Fiesta Park Improvements
  • Protected 33 acres of Open Space in the Tijeras BioZone
  • Awarded new LifeFloor for Wells Park Splash Pad through a national competition
  • Created an economic impact of $2 million through track events
  • Hosted second year of the USA Cycling Masters Road Championships and started up the inaugural Foothills 10-Mile Run.