Omaha parks are 11th best in the U.S. -
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Omaha parks are 11th best in the U.S.

Omaha's outdoor enthusiasts have reason to celebrate: The city's park system is the 11th best in the country, according to the Trust for Public Land.

The national conservation group analyzed parks in the 50 largest U.S. cities based on five factors: park size, park acreage as a percentage of city land, park access (residents who live within a 10-minute walk of a park), number of playgrounds and public spending on parks. Omaha scored above average on the first four indicators.

“It is an excellent accomplishment that highlights Omaha and all of its wonderful parks,” said Emily Burgess, the special projects coordinator for the City of Omaha Parks and Recreation. “We do have a great park system and people are very active ... biking and running and walking at the playgrounds with their family.”

The rankings suggest that the department should find more funding for maintenance and recreation programs, though, Burgess added. Omaha spends $57.46 per resident on its parks. The other cities measured spend, on average, $103 per resident.

Minneapolis came in first, and New York City ranked second. Albuquerque, N.M., and San Jose, Calif., tied Omaha for the 11th spot. Fresno, Calif., came in last of the 50 cities listed.

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