Trust for Public Land’s ParkServe Database & ParkScore Index

Questions that this tool can answer:

  • Where is there the greatest need for new parks within a city?
  • Where can parks be placed to ensure equitable access to outdoor recreation, address urban heat islands and improve public health?
  • How does my city’s park system compare against others?

Parks are essential for public health, climate resilience, and strong connected communities.  And yet, 100 million people in the U.S.—including 28 million kids—don’t have a park within a 10-minute walk of home. In addition to providing equitable access to outdoor recreation, parks improve public health, climate resilience and help make communities stronger. Urban trees planted in parks can also play a key role in addressing climate change by sequestering carbon and mitigating the effects of flooding. 

ParkServe is a database of local parks across the United States. As a comprehensive mapping platform, it identifies areas within a 10-minute walk of a park, highlights priority areas for new parks, and allows users to overlay additional demographic, environmental, and health data, and the presence of urban heat islands and public schools.

The ParkScore index is the national gold standard comparison of park systems across the 100 largest cities in the United States. The index measures park systems according to five categories: access, investment, amenities, acreage, and—new for 2021—equity. In-depth benchmarking data, such as maintenance spending, key park amenities, and park acreage, collected directly from parks agencies and partners, provides valuable information for how well cities are meeting the need for parks, recreation, and interaction with nature.

Municipal leaders can use these tools to guide park improvement efforts, identify the areas where new parks are needed most, and advocate for increased funding and resources to improve their city’s park system.

Additional Resources

  • The Trust for Public Land’s special report, The Power of Parks to Address Climate Change, highlights the powerful role that parks can play in mitigating climate change and helping communities adapt to its impacts, while also providing benefits to disadvantaged communities.
  • Atlanta, Georgia ParkScore Analysis and map.
  • This report highlights the role parks can play as a climate solution by sequestering carbon and making cities more resilient to the effects of climate change.
  • This report highlights how parks can support an equitable economic recovery in the wake of COVID-19.