LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A new study found that Louisville has one of the worst park systems in the country.
Louisville ranked 81st out of the 100 largest U.S. cities with park systems in The Trust for Public Land's 2019 ParkScore. The nonprofit's study based its ranking on public access, acreage, investment and amenities in the city's parks.
Stephanie George, director of marketing and communications for Olmstead Parks and Conservatory, said what people love and cherish about their parks weren't included in the survey.
"You have the history, things to do, you have a place to gather with the community, you have activities which aren't represented," George said.
According to the study, only 8% of the city's land is used for parks and recreation with 38% of residents live within a 10-minute walk of a park — 16% under the national average.
While 50% of low income residents live near a park, the number decreases for middle and low income residents.
"So those are items that aren't captured when you look at accessibility," George said.
By age, less than 40% of adults, seniors and children live near a park.
While Louisville ranks in the top percentiles in amenities like bathrooms and splashpads, the city's parks are still in the 31st percentile for recreation and senior centers and only have 2.7 basketball hoops per 10,000 people.
"I really wish that the data and that number reflected those quality characteristics and more of the voice of the people rather than just those raw data points compared to our population which is really spread out," George said.
Lexington was ranked 64th on the list while Cincinnati came in at eighth. Fort Wayne and Indianapolis did not receive ranking due to lack of data. The top five U.S. cities, in order, were Washington, D.C.; St. Paul and Minneapolis, Minnesota; Arlington, Virginia and Portland, Oregon.