Yelping parks!

Walk Score result and map

While exploring information about the walkability of neighborhoods, I came across the Walk Score website (also available as an iPhone application). Walk Score uses an algorithm based on the distance from your house to various amenities. The primary source of amenities that Walk Score uses is entries in Yelp, an online review service whose mission is “to connect people with great local businesses.” Entering my own address, I was shown a score of 85 – very walkable. A map shows symbols for the amenities, including ones that are obvious such as schools, grocery stores, restaurants, and other businesses (as well as some more questionable things such as Burger King and McDonalds).

But I didn’t see any parks, which are to me one of the most critical elements in walkable and livable neighborhoods. I looked in Yelp to see if there were parks, but there were not, except for Mt Rose Wilderness which is placed in Carson City because the Forest Service district that administers the wilderness in here. I wondered if I could increase the Walk Score of my residence by inputting parks into Yelp, so I entered all the parks and other recreation facilities listed on the Carson City Parks and Recreation website. And the answer is…  I don’t know because the parks have not made it over to the Walk Score database. Hmmm. There are entries for Mills Park, but these are not the ones I created. There is some relationship between Yelp and Google Maps that I’ve not pinned down, but some of my Yelp entries have shown up in Google Maps.

Nevertheless, you may be interested in seeing the parks and other recreation sites entered in Yelp. If you go to theYelp website, enter “parks” in the Search for box, and “Carson City, NV” in the Near box. You can then further refine this by selecting the “parks” category, which eliminates things such as trailer parks. The majority of the information here is from the Carson City Parks and Recreation website, including their photos, but I supplemented the information where appropriate, and added a photo of my own where there wasn’t one.

Several people have asked why the parks and other facilities didn’t get higher ratings from me. I didn’t explain this in each of the individual entries, so here it is: a park gets a 3 or above rating only if it has a drinking fountain. In a desert climate with higher summer temperatures, a park, or any facility for that matter, without a drinking fountain is not meeting the needs of the users. Even trails and trailheads need drinking fountains, in my view. And to be equitable, places where you can water your dog and horse.

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