Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges and St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman joined a nationwide push Tuesday to make sure that all residents live within a 10-minute walk of a park.
The "10-Minute Walk" campaign by the Trust for Public Land, National Recreation and Park Association and Urban Land Institute aims to ensure all people have access to quality parks. Mayors of 134 cities signed on to the effort.
"More mayors are seeing that parks define the essential quality life of cities," said Adrian Benepe, senior vice president at The Trust for Public Land, a national nonprofit. "You can't have a great city without a great park system."
San Francisco is the only city where all residents live within a 10-minute walk of a park, according to a report by the Trust for Public Land. But the Twin Cities are close behind with 97 percent of Minneapolis residents and 96 percent of St. Paul residents living within a 10-minute walk of a park.
The Trust for Public Land ranked the Minneapolis and St. Paul park systems as first and second best in the nation among large-city parks in 2017, using a variety of measures.
"We have the best parks system in America," Hodges said. "I've invested significantly in improving both our parks and walkability. Both are essential to maintaining the health, safety and well-being of everyone in every neighborhood."
Benepe said the nonprofits that launched the "10-Minute Walk" campaign will continue to help cities find funding, build new parks, improve existing ones and help residents access other recreational facilities.