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San Diego Makes Top Ten Among Big-City Parks

The Trust for Public Land says San Diego has one of the best American park systems, though finding a park close by can be a problem.

— A new study by the Trust for Public Land gave San Diego's park system lots of credit, ranking it eighth in a survey of the U.S.'s 40 largest cities.

San Diego was among 10 cities awarded at least four park benches, the symbolic benchmark used by the trust to rate urban park systems. Five park benches is a perfect score; a mark that no city achieved.

The group ranked cities based on three factors: access, park acreage and services/investment. San Diego got the highest score in terms of the percentage of city land given over to parks.

But among the top 10 park systems, it scored low in terms of park access. At least one in four San Diegans does not live within a 10-minute walk of a park.

Stacey LoMedico is the director of San Diego's Department of Parks and Recreation. She said a shortage of park funding also reduced San Diego's ranking.

"But overall we did well," she added, "and I think it reflects well on San Diego that we have such a comprehensive park system."

Some other California cities scored very well, some badly. San Francisco got the nation's number-one ranking. Virtually all of its citizens live within a 10-minute walk of a park. Fresno, however, was last among the 40 cities. The Trust for Public Land gave it only half a park bench.

Sacramento, New York, Boston and Washington D.C. followed San Francisco to round out the top five.

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