Virginia Beach’s Park System Ranks 7th Among 40 Largest U.S. Cities

Virginia Beach earns 4 out of 5 “Park Benches” in The Trust for Public Land ParkScore(TM) Ratings

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Virginia Beach earned four “park benches” on the ParkScoreTM rating system recently released by the nonprofit Trust for Public Land, ranking 7th among the 40 largest U.S. cities.

ParkScoreTM rates city park systems on a scale of zero to five park benches. It is a comprehensive park rating system designed to help local communities identify where new parks are needed most and which park improvements can deliver the greatest impact.

ParkScoreTM ratings are based equally on three factors: park accessibility, which measures the percentage of residents living within a 10-minute walk of a park (approximately ½-mile); park size, which is based on a city’s median park size and the percentage of total city area dedicated to public parks; and services and investment, which combines the number of playgrounds per 10,000 city residents and per capita park spending.

Virginia Beach led all cities on the playground measurements with five (5) playgrounds per 10,000 residents, more than double the ParkScoreTM city average. Data compiled through the ParkScoreTM ratings system reflects national, state and city public parks and open spaces. The rating system does not include privately-owned neighborhood parks and other recreational amenities like swimming pools, athletic fields, and playgrounds that are funded through Homeowner Association (HOA) fees.

“We are pleased to be ranked within the top ten park agencies in the nation,” said Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation Director Michael Kalvort. “This ranking shows that we are balanced in providing access to our citizens, and it is a testament to the commitment of our City’s mayor, city council and city leadership to provide a safe and vibrant quality of life for our residents. Their vision, beginning with the implementation of the Open Space Plan, has enabled the city to double our parkland since its adoption in 2001.”

For more information about Virginia Beach’s ParkScoreTM ranking, visit

Virginia Beach Parks and Recreation’s vision is a balanced, sustainable and value-focused system of parks, recreation and public spaces that creates a sense of community. We are accredited by CAPRA, the certifying agency of the National Recreation and Park Association. For more information, call (757) 385-1100 (TTY: 757-711 Virginia Relay), visit or sign up our email newsletters at

# # #