The 2019 Green Flag Awards, which is a recognised International Accreditation for Park Excellence, were announced on 17th July at Maynooth University.
The number of International Green Flag Award Sites in Ireland have surged this year. Galway City Council are delighted that Children’s Millennium Park, located beside Galway’s famous Cathedral, is among the new sites to be accredited by teams of trained judges. 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. To mark this award, Galway City Council will host a Green Flag raising ceremony at the Children’s Millennium Park on Thursday 1st August, 2019 at 10am.
The Green Flag Awards are judged every year by a peer jury of green space experts, who volunteer their time to visit applicant sites and assess them against eight strict criteria, including horticultural standards, cleanliness, sustainability, and community involvement.
From among 17 countries whose parks met the standard this year there were more Green Flag Awards secured by Irish Parks and Gardens than by any country, other than the UK where the scheme originated in 1996.
This year participating countries included;
Australia, Belgium, England, Finland, Germany, Mexico, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Portugal, Republic of Ireland, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and Wales.
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.
Robert Moss also noted that the Green Flag Community Award is supported by the Department of Rural and Community Development because “it builds a very constructive conduit for information, knowledge and skill share between the professional and voluntary green space management sectors within our society”.