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City of Seattle wins the first Green Flag Award for a local government in the USA

14 June 2024

Seward Park met the international standard following an assessment by two professional park judges. This historic achievement marks the first Green Flag Award to be won by a municipal organisation or local government in the United States of America.


AP Diaz, Parks Superintendent for the city said:

“Seward Park is a shining jewel in our park system, boasting 210 acres of beautiful forest land including old growth forest. I am thrilled this much loved place has been recognized with the Green Flag Award for parks excellence, and I am especially proud that we are the first municipal parks and recreation department in the United States to receive this designation.”


Seward Park is a popular spot for recreation as well as a hotspot for biodiversity


About Seward Park

Seward Park is a gem of Seattle's Parks and Recreation system: a 210-acre Olmsted-designed urban oasis in one of the city's most diverse neighborhoods. Home to an Audubon Center, Clay Studio, tennis courts, amphitheater, and swimming beach, Seward Park also features 120 acres of old growth forest, miles of hiking trails, and freshwater shoreline.

The park joins another iconic winner - The Presidio of San Francisco, as the only other park or green space to achieve this recognition in the USA.


Judges Carl McClean, UK (centre left) and German Enriquez, Mexico (centre right) met with Paul Talbert - President of Friends of Seward Park (left) and Joey Manson - Seward Park Audubon Center Director (right)


Paul Talbert, president of Friends of Seward Park and author of Wild Isle in the City, said:

“Our incredibly popular Seward Park serves the diverse ethnic communities of southeast Seattle with recreation, art, social gatherings, environmental education, festivals, and quiet natural places. It also preserves our ancient old-growth conifer forest, oak woodland, and undeveloped bay and lakeshore, providing habitat for salmon, eagles, ospreys, and a multitude of other wildlife. The Green Flag Award recognizes the incredible importance of Seward Park to both ecological preservation and human enjoyment."


The park was originally design by the Olmsted brothers in 1912, but not all of the features were developed.


Carl McClean – International Development manager for the Green Flag Award said:

“It’s a real pleasure to celebrate this fantastic achievement with the City of Seattle. Seward Park represents so much about Seattle’s diversity and inclusion, as well as being an incredibly bio-diverse site for both people and nature to thrive in. Well done to everyone involved who works hard to keep this park well managed and maintained for thousands of visitors all year round.”

The Audubon Center provides outdoor educational activities and learning at the forefront of the park



About the Green Flag Award

The Green Flag Award is an annual, non-profit international accreditation programme that recognises and rewards well managed parks and green spaces. Originating in England in 1996 - today the Green Flag Award proudly flies above more than 2,400 places in 18 countries around the world. To see a full list of international Green Flag Award winning parks, visit:

The award is set to grow in North America in 2024-25 as new applications are expected from Mexico, as well as first time applications from Canada.

Seattle Parks and Recreation Superintendent AP Diaz and Todd Burley Todd Burley - Sustainability Advisor receive the award from the judges


Green Flag Award are welcoming in new applications from any parks department or management organisation that is interested in recognising their team and instilling pride in their local community.

The Green Flag Award adds on to other international recognitions for Seward Park and Seattle. In 2023, Seattle was selected as a Role Model City by the United Nations Environment Program as part of their Generation Restoration initiative to support urban ecosystem restoration efforts globally in cities.

In 2024, Seward Park was also chosen as an Urban Quiet Park by Quiet Parks International based on sound recordings and other data.

AP Diaz, Parks Superintendent for the city said:

“This award reflects the hard work of our staff who steward this incredible space and oversee the management plan for the park. But it also reflects the love of Seattleites who cherish, use, and advocate for this stunning natural space within our city”

To find out more, or apply for an Award, whichever country you are based in -  explore the Green Flag Award website: or alternatively click here for a contact form.



Notes to Editors:

About Seattle Parks and Recreation

Seattle Parks and Recreation equips employees and the public for well-being as we support healthy people, a thriving environment and vibrant community. We provide safe and accessible spaces for residents and visitors to work, recreate, rejuvenate and enhance quality of life and wellness for children, teenagers, adults and seniors.

Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) manages a 6,441-acre park system of over 489 parks and extensive natural areas. SPR provides athletic fields, tennis courts, play areas, specialty gardens, and more than 25 miles of boulevards and 120 miles of trails. The system comprises about 12% of the city's land area. SPR also manages many facilities, including 25 community centers, eight indoor swimming pools, two outdoor (summer) swimming pools, two environmental education centers, two small craft centers, four golf courses, an outdoor stadium, and much more.

About the Green Flag Award

The Green Flag Award is a non-profit international accreditation program that recognizes and rewards well-managed parks and green spaces. The Green Flag Award is managed by the UK environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy, under license from the UK Government Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and delivered in partnership with our network of national operators around the world.

To find out more, or apply for an Award, whichever country you are based in -  explore the Green Flag Award website: or alternatively click here for a contact form.

About Keep Britain Tidy

Keep Britain Tidy is a leading UK environmental charity that cares for the environment on your doorstep. They work to improve public space, eliminate littering, and reduce waste. They run programs including Eco-Schools, Green Flag Award for parks and green spaces and the Blue Flag/Seaside Awards for beaches. To find out more about Keep Britain Tidy, our programs and campaigns visit