Study: No. 1 park system in SoCal

by TOM BERG

For the sixth consecutive year, Irvine’s 16,500 acres of parks have been named the No. 1 park system in Southern California – and among the nation’s top 10.

“The pandemic showed us how vital parks are to the health of a community,” says Robin Mark, program director for the Trust for Public Land, which ranked Irvine No. 7 nationally. “Irvine should be celebrated for its success.”

By preserving one-third of the city as parks and open space, Irvine has created one of America’s greenest cities, with three times more open space than the national median, according to TPL. Irvine also invests more in its parks than most cities – about twice as much per capita than the national average. “We love Irvine’s parks,” says Daniel Harsadi, while walking around Mason Park’s 9-acre lake with his wife and chil- dren. “The kids ride their bikes, and we all like to watch the birds around the lake.”

TPL’s 2021 report notes that 89% of Irvine residents are within a 10-minute walk of a park. (The national average is 55%.) It also notes that Irvine has preserved 44 acres of parkland per 1,000 residents – that’s more than four times that of Seattle.

Click to view the 2021 Parks Guide.