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Indianapolis Parks Rate Worse Than 90% Of Big City Parks

The Circle City's parks don't have enough playgrounds and they need to be easier to reach, a study says.

Eagle Creek Park

Photo: Flickr / Paula Henry

Indy's Eagle Creek Park rates highly, but most city parks lag those in other large cities, says a national survey.

A new report says Indianapolis’ public parks rate in the bottom ten percent of municipal parks in the nation, among the country’s 40 largest cities.

The report, from the Center for City Park Excellence at the Trust for Public Land, ties Circle City parks with those of Mesa, Arizona – better only than those in Louisville, Charlotte and Fresno, California.

Center for City Park Excellence Director Peter Harnik says the report examines access to parks, size and number of parks, number of playgrounds and how much money cities spend on parks. Harnik says Indianapolis does well on the size of parks, but lags in other categories.

“We always hold up Indianapolis as really being a leadership place for the city’s trail — the Monon Trail is wonderful, the Canal Trail is wonderful — so it gives me hope the city can do that with its full parks system,” Harnik says.

Harnik says access to city parks is not good and the city doesn‘t have enough parks despite the presence of well-known Eagle Creek Park. Harnik says the city’s playgrounds need to be improved because of their effect on childhood socialization.

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