The Greensboro Parks and Recreation Department has won a passel of awards and the Greensboro City Council never misses a chance to brag about the successes of the department.
So how does the Greensboro Parks and Recreation Department do when compared to the parks and recreation departments in 12 other cities in the state?
The answer is great.
The North Carolina School of Government did a study comparing various departments of 14 different cities in the state and, although Greensboro doesn’t rank first in every parks and recreation category, it does in far more than it should when you consider population.
Greensboro with a population of 288,000 has 161 full time employees in its parks and recreation department, while Raleigh with a population of 460,000 has 722. But Greensboro has 351 parks compared to 175 in Raleigh. Greensboro also has 11,160 acres of parks compared to 6,164 for Raleigh. So it’s not that Greensboro has a whole bunch of little parks but has more parks and bigger parks.
Raleigh does have more senior centers at 41 compared to 12 for Greensboro.
But in the playground category Greensboro has 105 compared to 96 for Raleigh. It would appear Greensboro is more into kids and Raleigh is more into what are now being called active adults.
Raleigh also wins the athletic field competition with 99 to Greensboro’s 75.
And Raleigh has 134 miles of trails compared to Greensboro’s 102 miles.
But when you consider how much bigger Raleigh is than Greensboro, it’s amazing that Greensboro comes out ahead in a single category.
Winston-Salem with a population of 243,000 only beats Greensboro in the number of employees with 207, which is not necessarily a category that it’s good to win. But in trails Winston-Salem is not even close with 23 miles of trails to 102 miles for Greensboro.
Winston has 3,856 acres of parks, which is about a third of Greensboro’s 11,160.
The other category where Winston comes out ahead is in the number of athletic fields. Winston has 97 and Greensboro 75.
Not only does Greensboro compare favorably in facilities, Greensboro provides parks and recreation services at a lower cost. The average cost per capita for parks and recreation of the 13 cities in the study is $104 and Greensboro’s cost is $61. And Greensboro does even better when the cost per acre is compared. Greensboro’s cost per acre is $1,570 while the average cost per acre for the 13 cities is $10,929.