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Trust for Public Land


6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Science, Social Studies, Civics, Geography, Health

Resource Types

  • Interactive Media
  • Charts, Graphs, and Tables
  • Articles and Websites

Regional Focus

North America, United States, USA - West, USA - South, USA - Midwest, USA - Northeast, New Jersey

ParkScore® Index

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  • This interactive resource, provided by Trust for Public Land, allows students to explore the ranking and details of parks in the 100 most populous United States cities.
  • The rankings are calculated based on park acreage, amenities, investments, access, and equity.
  • Students can see the rankings of all 100 cities, investigate the report on each city, view animated graphs, read the summary report, and use interactive maps to research the locations of parks and view other information for each city.
Teaching Tips


  • This interactive resource is ideal for students in a wide range of grade levels, subjects, and skill sets.
  • The graphics and data included are easy to understand and read.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should be able to read graphs, understand percentages, and read maps. 
  • You can request the full report from the organization, but the summary report is linked in the resource.


  • Students in lower grades could view the ranking information in this resource, but they may need help with interpreting the detailed data provided.
  • This resource could be used in math classes to incorporate real-world data into lessons about graphs and percentages, in civics classes to discuss equity in city planning, and in science classes to discuss the importance of green spaces in cities (in the context of climate change and human health). 
  • This resource lends itself well to a jigsaw activity, where students each choose a city to research and then compare and contrast the differences and similarities they notice. 
  • As an extension activity, students could use this information to write a letter to a leader from their city or state to reinforce the importance of green spaces and advocate for more trees and park space in their area.
  • Other related resources include this lesson about green spaces, this video about city design, this interactive map about tree equity scores, and this video about the importance of urban trees.
Scientist Notes
This resource presents (in detail) index scores on selected U.S. parks. In terms of the methodology, the indicators align with universal standards for measuring public park spaces to determine the state of the facility and assess areas for improvements. This is recommended for teaching.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • MS-ESS3-3 Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: Civics
      • D2.Civ.13.9-12 Evaluate public policies in terms of intended and unintended outcomes, and related consequences.
    • Dimension 2: Geography
      • D2.Geo.1.6-8 Construct maps to represent and explain the spatial patterns of cultural and environmental characteristics.
      • D2.Geo.3.9-12 Use geographic data to analyze variations in the spatial patterns of cultural and environmental characteristics at multiple scales.
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Reading: Science & Technical Subjects (6-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.6-8.7 Integrate quantitative or technical information expressed in words in a text with a version of that information expressed visually (e.g., in a flowchart, diagram, model, graph, or table).
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.9-10.10 By the end of grade 10, read and comprehend science/technical texts in the grades 9-10 text complexity band independently and proficiently.
  • Common Core Math Standards (CCSS.MATH)
    • Ratios & Proportional Relationships (6-7)
      • CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.7.RP.A.2 Recognize and represent proportional relationships between quantities.
  • Related Resources


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