The Green Flag Award for Parks is recognised throughout the world as the mark of a quality park or green space, awarded for exceeding tough environmental standards in green space management, and excellence of visitor attractions.
48 Irish Parks and Gardens from across the Republic of Ireland received prestigious Green Flag Award for 2018, including two in Mayo; Mayo County Council‘s Jackie Clarke Memorial Garden and Turlough Park.
This year has also seen the initial introduction of the Green Flag Community Award Scheme into Ireland, allowing sites managed by volunteers and community groups to participate for the first time. Winners from Mayo were the Ballina Karen Community Garden, Ballyhaunis Community Garden and Kilmaine Community Garden.
The new Green Flag Community Award extends the Scheme to include community initiatives such as; community gardens, community parks, and Tidy Towns projects. By providing our community green spaces with access to Green Flag Award best practice we will empower community groups to improve their local community and environment.
The Minister of State for Housing and Urban Renewal – Damien English T.D., was in attendance to open the award ceremony, and to support how the important role played by local authorities is being recognised by the awards and he stated: "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”.