Mayor Michael Nutter wants Philadelphia to be the greenest city in America, but a national nonprofit gave its parks a mediocre grade in a recent report.
The Trust for Public Land ranked Philadelphia’s parks system 20th out of the nation’s largest 60 cities, noting that it spends about $60.66 on parks per resident, including local, state and federal funds. The typical city spends $78.
“If you look at the numbers — what other cities spend — we’re behind that. There’s no way to get around that,” said Michael DiBeradinis, commissioner of the city’s parks and recreation department. “Of course, we would like to have more money.”
DiBeradinis said the city was forced to cut parks spending by almost one-third during the Great Recession. Since then, he says the city has been reinvesting.
In the budget year starting next month, the parks and recreation department is getting an increase of about $500,000. DiBeradinis is planning to use that money to increase arts and senior programming.
The report by the Trust for Public Land wasn’t all bad news. The nonprofit gave Philadelphia’s parks system high marks for accessibility.
See how Philadelphia’s parks spending compares to other cities’ in the infographic below.