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National Ranking Reveals City’s Efforts to Create Accessible Parks Paying Off

90 percent of Albuquerque residents now live within a 10-minute walk to a park

Released today, the 2020 ParkScore index compiled by The Trust for Public Land, confirmed that efforts to improve access to parks and Open Space in Albuquerque has continued to yield positive results. Overall, Albuquerque ranked 37 out of 100 of the largest parks systems in the nation. Additionally, the number of Albuquerque residents who live within a 10-minute walk to a park now stands at 90 percent - up from 87% in 2019. The Department also saw marked improvement in the number of restrooms, splash pads and playgrounds it offers – with more on the way in 2021.

Three years ago, Mayor Keller joined a nationwide coalition of mayors committed to ensuring that every resident lives within a 10-minute walk (about a half-mile) to a park or green space. Each year since, the percentage of residents within a 10-minute walk has increased.

“We are committed to creating an equitable and accessible parks system that works for all our families," said Mayor Tim Keller. “The pandemic highlighted the need for outdoor spaces as so many families don’t have access to a backyard to play in. It’s a great feeling to know that our efforts are paying off as we continue to work towards giving every kid in our city a place to play.”

During the pandemic, the City of Albuquerque committed to keeping parks and open spaces open for public-use, unlike many other American cities. The Parks and Recreation Department also focused on increasing accessibility during this time – officially opening the brand-new Juan Tabo Hills Park and acquiring 145 acres of open space in 2020.

“Last year underscored the critical importance of parks for our mental and physical health,” said Dave Simon, Director of the Parks and Recreation Department. “Parks, trails, open space and other green spaces are great community investments that pay off in amazing ways.”

Throughout 2021, the Parks & Recreation Dept will continue work on many projects to increase park accessibility and improve park amenities across the city.  Some of the major efforts include:

  • Continued planning for the Walker property (new parkland in Wells Park);
  • Re-opening of the renovated Wilson Park and Pool;
  • Expanded bike trail maintenance efforts;
  • Improvements at Phil Chacon Park (Phase I of the new Master Plan being finalized);
  • Expansion of Vista del Norte Park;
  • New efforts on neighborhood Open Spaces, community gardens and nature play areas.

The Trust for Public Land’s ParkScore index is a comprehensive rating system to measure access to and the quality of parks in cities across the country. For more information on Albuquerque’s ParkScore profile compiled by The Trust for Public Land, visit


See more information on the 10-minute walk campaign.