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St. Petersburg ranked best parks in Florida by national non-profit

Michael Havener, top, Brittany Mattie, bottom left, and Brittany Havener watch the band, Pepper during the Slightly Stoopid concert at Vinoy Park in St. Petersburg on Saturday, July 21, 2018. Vinoy Park is the city's most visited park, according to an annual ranking by the Trust for Public Land. [EVE EDELHEIT | Times]
Published Jul. 25, 2018

ST. PETERSBURG — Thanks to nearly 40,000 acres of parks, including a plethora of basketball hoops and dog parks, the city edged out Tampa, Miami, and Orlando as the best city for parks in Florida, according to an annual ranking by the Trust For Public Land.

The not-for-profit evaluated the largest 100 cities in America for median park size, spending per resident, amenities and park access when compiling its 2018 Park Score rankings.

St. Petersburg finished 15th overall in the country, ahead of several major cities known for their outdoor lifestyle, such as San Diego, CA, Denver, CO, and Austin, TX.

"Our parks, which are as diverse as our people, are part of what make St. Petersburg such a special place," Kriseman said in a statement. "It is why I have expanded our parkland during my time as mayor, and fought to preserve the sanctity of our parks, especially our treasured waterfront."

About 74-percent of St. Petersburg residents live within a 10-minute walk of a public park, which make up about 15-percent of the city's land, according to the 2018 Park Score data.

The Trust for Public Land's Park Score evaluated other criteria, such as number of public restrooms, splash pads, playgrounds and recreation centers.

"From exercise zones and free yoga in the park to annual festivals and movies in the park, St. Pete's parks offer something for everyone," Leisure Services Administrator Mike Jefferis said.