Study Claims Newark, Jersey City Have Some of the Worst Green Space in U.S.

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Branch Brook Park Cherry Blossoms Newark
Branch Brook Park in Newark. Image via DepositPhotos.com.

The two largest cities in New Jersey are apparently not big destinations for park seekers if a recent report is to be believed.


San Diego-based Lawn Love, a landscape services company, has published their 2023 list of the cities with the most green space. The study considered a weighted criteria from the 97 biggest cities in the country, including factors like the number of public and private green areas per capita, total number of parks, total park acreage, the share of land used for parks, and average square footage of yards.

New Jersey’s largest city, Newark, ranked dead last based on the study’s methodology. The Brick City netted particularly poor marks when it came to total park acreage, having the third worst in the country alongside a fifth-worst ranking for average yard square footage.

Jersey City wasn’t that far behind, with the study ranking it third worst for green space. Despite being one of the fastest-growing cities in the region, Jersey City finished dead last in terms of having the lowest number of parks per capita in the country.

“These two Garden State cities are dense and highly populated, leaving little room for large green landscapes,” the study determined.

So what did the experts at Lawn Love recommend to Jersey City and Newark’s residents who might be feeling hemmed in? “Step out of the city and into the Garden State with a day trip to Wharton State Forest or Sourland Mountain Preserve,” the study says.

Of course, there’s also Liberty State Park and Palisades Interstate Park along the Hudson River if you’re looking for something a bit closer.

Lawn Love’s study determined that the best city in the country for green space was Chesapeake, Virginia.

New York City ranked seventh in the country when including the entirety of all five boroughs, including a #1 ranking for number of parks. although the average yard square footage was the fourth worst in the country.

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