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We're No. 1: St. Paul, Mpls. tied atop best U.S. city parks list

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Minnehaha Falls Regional Park
Minnehaha Falls Regional Park in Minneapolis.
Bridget Bennett | MPR News

St. Paul and Minneapolis tied for first place in the Trust for Public Land's ranking of big city parks.

The two cities earned perfect "5" ratings on the organization's ParkScore index, a four-year effort to rank the park systems in the nation's 75 largest cities.

It's the first year that St. Paul has been included — it ranks 66th in the U.S. Census rolls. Previous rankings looked at only the biggest 60 cities.

Minneapolis has topped the list for the last two years, making this the third consecutive year the city has had the top-ranked parks in the nation. Washington, D.C., San Francisco, New York City and Portland, Ore., tied to round out the top five in the rankings.

The ranking considers three factors: park access, park size and facilities and investments, which includes amenities like basketball hoops, dog parks, playground and recreation and senior centers. 

The amenities were new to the rankings this year, and helped St. Paul match Minneapolis, despite the smaller park sizes in the capital city.