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Charlotte parks near bottom of national ranking, group says

Bikers travel Little Sugar Creek Greenway near Charlotte’s Freedom Park.
Bikers travel Little Sugar Creek Greenway near Charlotte’s Freedom Park. ogaines@charlotteobserver.com

Charlotte has big parks but they’re not close to where people live, says a national ranking that scored it 74th of 75 cities.

The Trust for Public Land, which creates parks and protects land for public use, did the rankings.

The rankings use computer mapping technology. They are based on three factors: the percentage of residents who live within a 10-minute walk of a park; median park size; and local spending on parks and available amenities.

Charlotte aces the park size component, TPL said. The median size of 17 acres is three times the national average and the highest of 75 cities ranked.

But only 27 percent of Charlotte residents live within a short walk of a park. That scored lowest among the ranked cities and was well under the national average of 71 percent.

With that, Charlotte tied Fresno, Calif., for 74th place overall. Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minn., tied for first.

Last year’s rankings placed Charlotte 57th of 60 cities evaluated.

Henderson: 704-358-5051;

Twitter: @bhender

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