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Minneapolis named the nation's best park system, again

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Uniting All Families family picnic
Minneapolis resident Wendy Brown, with her 7-week-old daughter Beatrice, watches her older two sons on the playground, Sept. 5, 2012 at Lynnhurst Park in Minneapolis.
Jennifer Simonson for MPR News 2012

Minneapolis and St. Paul have the nation's best parks, according to The Trust for Public Land.

The conservation group ranked the cities 1 and 2 on its 2017 ParkScore Index released Wednesday. The annual report analyzes parks in the 100 most populous cities in the United States.

Scores are given based on the accessibility of the parks, size of the parks and the facilities that are offered.

This is the second year that the Twin Cities have won first and second place. Minneapolis scored 87.5 points, increasing its lead over St. Paul which earned 82.5 points in this year's ranking.

The Trust for Public Land gave both cities a perfect "5-bench" rating.

Minneapolis' slight lead is thanks to "joint use" agreements that allow school courtyards and parks to be used by the public after school and on weekends.

San Francisco was the only other city to receive a "5-bench" rating after it jumped from fifth place in 2016 to third this year.