07 October 2020
Both Finland and Sweden have celebrated increases in Green Flag Award winners for the 2020-21 season, as 4 new Scandinavian parks achieve international accreditation.
Jonsereds Trädgårdar in the municipality of Partille, on the outskirts of Gothenburg became only the second Green Flag Award winner in Sweden and in fact the first municipal public garden to win the Award. It joins the Ultuna Campus of the Swedish University of Agricultural Science (SLU) in Uppsala, north of Stockhholm - which has proudly flown the flag since becoming the first in Sweden to achieve the Award in 2017.
Peter Svenson - Head Gardener at Jonsereds Trädgårdar said:
"The whole team at Jonsereds Trädgårdar is extremely proud to be the first municipal public garden in Sweden to obtain the Green Flag Award. The award is a horticultural home-run regarding our long term ecological focus and our work with sustainability. This is something that we have worked with purposefully during a long period of time and so pleased to achieve the international standard."
In Finland, where the program is managed by the National Association for Landscape Industries - Viherympäristöliitto ry (VYL), 3x new parks celebrated success including first time application from the city of Turku - Finland's 6th largest city and former European Capital of Culture.
Turku's Kupittaa Park received a special mention for its environmental impact management and first-class maintenance of vegetation, especially park trees. The Green Flag Award judges commented in the evaluation report:
"The care of the trees is at an excellent level in Kupittaa Park and their importance to the area is great, as the green area is an important and extensive part of the city's ecological network. The park's diverse species and a large number of old large trees sequester carbon and purify the city air, and they will be a significant factor in the City of Turku's carbon-neutral targets for 2029."
Sibelius Park in Kotka - a city which now boasts 5x Green Flag Award parks, also impressed the judges. The maintenance, management and pride of the locals in the green spaces caught the judges' attention, on which they commented:
"The park’s employees and users are genuinely proud of the parks. You do a great job in front of your parks and you are famous for them all over Finland. Continue the work that has started well, and you will give positive visibility to the Finnish green industry and the people working in the sector!"
Annina Vuorsalo, Executive Director of Viherympäristöliitto ry (VYL - the Finnish Association of Landscape Industries) said:
"It is great that the number of Green Flag Awards in Finland is growing. The Award is a unique green space quality logo that also adds value to green area employees. Our goal in the coming years is to develop the award into a symbol known and valued by the entire green industry and recognisable by all Finns"
The Green Flag Award continues to grow from strength to strength internationally, despite the impact of the coronavirus pandemic across the world - as parks and green space managers seek to give parks the credit and recognition they deserve for the essential role they have played throughout local and national measures.
Carl McClean - International development Manager for the Green Flag Award said:
"It's clear that the importance of parks really has become a key message for cities and local authorities during this pandemic, and many are now seeing the vale of the Green Flag Award model of recognition accreditation and annual inspection to ensure residents have access to quality green space, as well as quantity."
"I want to congratulate those winners in Sweden and Finland - the park staff, volunteers and community, for their commendable work in bring their parks up to the international standard and maintaining them well during this difficult period for all."
The Green Flag award now operates on 15 countries around the world including: Australia, Belgium, Germany, Spain, Sweden, Finland, The Netherlands, Portugal, Republic of Ireland, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Mexico and the USA - celebrating over 2,000 Award winning parks and green spaces annually.
To find out more, or apply for an Award, whichever country you are based in; please feel free to explore our website and get in touch.
If you know of a park or a country not yet involved in the Green Flag Award that might be interested, please Contact Us