FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — For years, Fort Wayne residents have opined about there being nothing to do in the city.

A new ranking would seem to agree.

Fort Wayne was ranked last (No. 100) in a WalletHub report on 2022’s Best and Worst Cities for Recreation.

The study used “47 key indicators of recreation-friendliness” to rank the 100 largest U.S. cities, including “accessibility of entertainment and recreational facilities, the quality of parks and the weather.”

Fort Wayne was 91st in the amount of parkland across the city, 90th in percent of the population with walkable park access, and 89th in swimming pools per capita. It scored high in tennis courts per capita (32nd), but low (81st) in bike rental facilities per capita.

Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Director Steve McDaniel issued this statement in response to the WalletHub rankings:

The Parks and Recreation Department strives to provide consistent, quality, low-cost recreation opportunities for citizens. While WalletHub’s study included a wide range of criteria, including non-parks related factors like commercial entertainment and favorable weather, these findings did point out some areas we have already been working to address. The study examined walkable park access, which is happening now as you see many new walking paths being built throughout the city, including over 48 miles of trails in our parks. Those paths are intentionally being linked with many of our parks that previously were not as easily accessible to neighborhoods.
Amount of designated parkland was also considered in their results, and projects like Promenade Park in downtown Fort Wayne are a result of our efforts to find new, appropriate park locations to offer spaces for recreation to more of our citizens, which currently totals over 2,800 acres of parkland in 87 parks. In the past five years, we have also made over 20 million dollars in improvements to our existing parks to increase the quality of recreation for our citizens, and much of that work is a result of our ongoing communication with the public. We regularly gather public feedback and use their comments to inform our planning process. In fact, we recently completed a comprehensive public assessment, which allows the community to share concerns and suggestions for the future direction of our parks. Their feedback has consistently been extremely positive about our parks and our recreation programming.
Of course, there are always opportunities to do more for the community, and as time and resources allow, we will do that. However, I am extremely proud of the work our department does every day to provide the best experience possible for our fellow citizens and visitors to our parks and facilities. We are also very grateful to the Mayor, who has supported our work every step of the way, which is one reason why WalletHub also named Fort Wayne the 3rd best run city in the country. In the Parks and Recreation department, we feel we are moving in the right direction and hope to keep our positive momentum in the future.

The best cities for recreation, according to WalletHub, were Las Vegas (1), Orlando (2) and Cincinnati (3).

Indianapolis came in at No. 88 in the rankings.

For the full report, click here.