Houston's parks not accessible to all residents, study finds

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A new study finds that Houston's green spaces are only accessible to half of the city's residents. (KTRK)

If you've ever biked along Buffalo Bayou, jogged in Memorial Park or enjoyed a concert in Discovery Green, you know firsthand that Houston has beautiful green spaces.

The only problem? Not everybody in the city gets to enjoy our 370,271 acres of park space.

According to a recent analysis by the Trust for Public Land, more than half of Houstonians do not live within a half-mile of a park, which equates roughly to a 10-minute walk, leaving 1.2 million people without easy foot access.

Researchers found that, by a relatively small margin, senior citizens tend to live closer to green spaces than other age groups. Predictably, wealthy Houstonians are the most likely to have easily accessible parks, but not by much.

The analysis also found that the median park in the city of Houston covers 6 acres of land. They contain 2.2 basketball hoops, 0.6 dog parks and 1.9 playgrounds per 10,000 residents.

Those figures landed Houston the eighty-first spot on the 2017 ranking of park accessibility in major cities across the country. According to researchers, areas of southwest Houston outside of the loop had the highest need for parks.

The analysis looked only at parks within the city of Houston and did not include incorporated cities like Bellaire, West University Place, Hedwig Village or Piney Point Village.

SEE ALSO: ABC13's guide to Levy Park
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