Only awarded for exceeding tough environmental standards in green space management and excellence of visitor attractions – the Green Flag Award for Parks is the mark of a quality park or green space and is recognised throughout the world.
On Thursday 19th July, in Castletown House, Co Kildare, An Taisce Environment Education revealed the 48 Irish parks and green spaces that have been awarded a prestigious Green Flag Award for 2018.
The 2018 awards were available to public town parks, country parks, gardens, cemeteries and green spaces from across the whole country. The 2018 season has seen an additional 12 applicant parks and gardens qualify for an award. This has resulted in some of our most significant landmark parks and estates being recognised for the quality of their recreational and historic green space, as well as newer up and coming green space projects that are equally worthy of recognition.
Further building upon last year’s initial success, New Ross Municipal District maintained the Green Flag status for both the Library Park and Pearse Park in New Ross, following the vigorous application and inspection process over the last few months.
The Green Flag Awards are judged every year by a peer jury of green space experts, who assess them against eight strict criteria, including horticultural standards, cleanliness, sustainability and community involvement.
The Minister of State at the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government with special responsibility for Housing and Urban Development – Damien English T.D., was in attendance at the ceremony and there to support how the important role played by local authorities is being recognised by the awards.
Minister English commented that “the Green Flag Awards encourage the provision of good quality public parks and green spaces that are managed in environmentally sustainable ways. The act of planning, creating, and using a public utility; be it a community garden, park or open space; brings people, communities and neighbours together. It is an essential component of a healthy lifestyle to have access to, and to be able to enjoy, outdoor amenities particularly those which are so well tended and maintained”.
The aim of New Ross Municipal District and Wexford County Council is to encourage and welcome a complete diversity of visitor and user to the Parks by promoting a culture of universal access and integration for all whilst continuing the ongoing development of the county as an attractive location to work, live and visit.
In Ireland the Green Flag Award for Parks Scheme has been enthusiastically received by park management as it delivers major wins for the delivery of quality green spaces by respective parks and park departments. These include:
- The promotion and reward for best practice management
- Creation of a plan for improvements and future works
- The building of a collaborative network of park management nationally
- The implementation of environmental sustainability within park management
“In terms of urban renewal and rural and community development, the Green Flag Award for Parks is a logical and sensible step towards supporting community engagement with green space improvement and helps increase quality of life within our communities” said Robert Moss, the Green Flag Award for Parks Manager for the Republic of Ireland.