• An aerial view of Central City Park (now known as Woodruff Park) in downtown Atlanta, Georgia, 1970s.  Courtesy of the Georgia State University Library via Digital Library of Georgia.

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    Aerial view of Central City Park, March 25, 1970s
    • Date
    • 1970/1979
    • Creator
    • Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Mahan, Bill.
    • Description
    • Atlanta Journal-Constitution Photographic Archives. Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library3. Central City Park (Atlanta). Local identification number: AJCP1635j. Atlanta Journal-Constitution Photographic Archive, Special C... more
      Atlanta Journal-Constitution Photographic Archives. Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library3. Central City Park (Atlanta). Local identification number: AJCP1635j. Atlanta Journal-Constitution Photographic Archive, Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library. less
    • Rights
    • Http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC-EDU/1.0/. Copyright to this item is owned by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Images may be used for scholarship, educational, and personal use. Additional uses will require permission of the rights holder.
    • Partner
    • Digital Library of Georgia
    • Contributing Institution
    • Georgia State University. Libraries. Special Collections

  • "Princess Wenonah statue, Central Park, Winona, Minnesota."  This community is small enough that its central park might combine elements of city and neighborhood park types. Courtesy of the Winona County Historical Society via Minnesota Digital Library.

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    Princess Wenonah statue, Central Park, Winona, Minnesota
    • Description
    • A snow covered Princess Wenonah statue stands in Winona's Central Park.
    • Rights
    • Use of this image may be governed by U.S. and international copyright laws. Please contact the Winona County Historical Society for permission to publish this image. www.winonahistory.org
    • Partner
    • Minnesota Digital Library
    • Contributing Institution
    • Winona County Historical Society

  • A bridge and gazebo in Murray City Park, Utah, 2008.  Courtesy of the University of Utah J. Willard Marriott Library via Mountain West Digital Library.

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    Murray Park gazebo
    • Date
    • 2008-07-07
    • Creator
    • Craig Denton
    • Description
    • Little Cottonwood Creek offers a lyric accompaniment in Murray City Park.
    • Rights
    • Craig L. Denton 2008. Use of this file is allowed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License; http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/us/
    • Partner
    • Mountain West Digital Library
    • Contributing Institution
    • University of Utah - J. Willard Marriott Library

  • A plan for Farwell Park, a neighborhood park in Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1910. Courtesy of the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board via Minnesota Digital Library.

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    Farwell Park, Minneapolis, Minnesota
    • Description
    • A plan for Farwell Park in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The plan is found in the Twenty-eighth Annual Report of the Board of Park Commissioners of the City of Minneapolis, after page 128.
    • Rights
    • No known U.S. copyright restrictions.
    • Partner
    • Minnesota Digital Library
    • Contributing Institution
    • Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board

It is possible to distinguish some broad categories of parks in the United States: town squares, large city parks, pleasure grounds or cultural parks, neighborhood parks, and pocket parks.

Each form or type of park was shaped by the social needs and perspectives of the historical period in which it was created. This led to a progression of types that can be described chronologically, but it is important to note that new types of parks emerged alongside existing ones, so that multiple types exist concurrently. Also, an established park may evolve to meet the changing needs of its users, taking on characteristics more common in another category of park, as in the case of a playground being added to a cultural park.

Parks require oversight and maintenance. Larger communities with multiple parks are likely to administer parks as a system, thinking about each park in relation to the others and in relation to the needs of the community as a whole, combining types and approaches to most fully address those needs.