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September 16, 2014

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Report: Las Vegas has big parks, but poor access to them

Image

Sam Morris

Cristen fishes while his sister Kelijah tries to untangle her line during an outing with Child Focus Saturday, April 2, 2011 at Floyd Lamb State Park

Downtown Parks

A covered play area in Lorenzi Park on Washington Avenue between Rancho Drive and Valley View Boulevard Sunday, Aug. 26, 2012. Launch slideshow »

Las Vegas has some large parks but access to them is below the national average, according to a report released Wednesday.

Las Vegas ranks 29th out of 50 large cities in the nation in the report by the non-profit Trust for Public Lands.

The report shows Minneapolis has the highest rating with a 5.0 score while Las Vegas was rated at 2.6. The cities that got the lowest grade of 1.0 were Fresno, Louisville, Charlotte and Indianapolis.

Las Vegas scored high for the size of its parks but was faulted for poor public access.

Adrian Benepe of the trust said, "You can't have a great city without great parks."

The Floyd Lamb Park at Tule Springs is the largest and most visited park. The oldest is Lorenzi Park, created in 1921.

The trust said park access is measured by the population within a ten minute walk. The breakdown says that 50 percent of low income families are within the ten minute measurement but 61 percent of high income residents are close to parks.

And 61 percent of those 64-years and older are within the ten minute walking range to a park while only 51 percent of those 20 years old and younger are close to a park.

Parks in Las Vegas total 3,072 acres, which is 3.5 percent of the size of the city. But the average park size is 7.8 acres which is above the national average, according to the trust.

Peter Harnik of the trust says "Las Vegas park budgets have been boosted by proceeds from BLM land sales in Southern Nevada." But when those sales end, it will create a budget hole that threatens the city's ability to maintain its park system.

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