16 December 2022
More Green Flag Awards are flying over North American parks in 2022 than ever before
Mexico announced seven winners at the 2023 World Urban Parks Congress in Monterrey in November - including an impressive five first-time applicants.
In California, The Presidio of San Francisco maintained it's title as the first and only park in the United States to win the Award. The Presidio is managed through a tri-agency partnership between The Presidio Trust, US National Parks Service and The Golden Gate Parks Conservancy.
*Cover Image: San Pedro Parques, Mexico celebrate winning four Awards in their first year.
Jean Fraser, CEO of The Presidio Trust said:
“We are so proud to maintain our Green Flag Award status and be recognized for the decades-long, partnership work to improve San Francisco’s northern waterfront for visitors and the environment. It feels great to know we belong to an international consortium of great parks and encourage other U.S. parks to join us.”
Image 1: Chief Park Officer Michael Boland, Executive Assistant Janeen Jackson, and CEO Jean Fraser celebrate at The Presidio of San Fracisco.
The winners who achieved or maintained accreditation in 2023-23 in North America are:
- The Presidio of San Francisco, California, USA
- La Mexicana Park , Mexico City, Mexico
- Fundidora Park , Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico
- Cárcamos Park , León, Guanajuato, Mexico
- Mississippi Park , San Pedro Garza García, Nuevo León, Mexico
- El Capitan Park , San Pedro Garza Garcia, Nuevo León, Mexico
- Bosques del Valle Park , San Pedro Garza García, Nuevo León, Mexico
- Rufino Tamayo Park , San Pedro Garza García, Nuevo León, Mexico
A map of winners around the world can be found here: https://www.greenflagaward.org/award-winners/
The good news of success comes at a time when interest is growing for the Award is growing across the continent. The Presidio Trust are firm supporters of the Green Flag Award model, and have assisted Keep Britain Tidy (who co-ordinate the Award internationally) in promoting the program to other park agencies in California and further afield.
As management practices stabilise following the pandemic, parks agencies in the US, Mexico and Canada are now looking at ways to recognise the hard work of their staff and volunteers, whilst also participating in the respected international framework to demonstrate continual improvement.
Image 2: Parque Fundidora, Monterrey - the first applicant in Mexico maintained it's Award for another year.
German Enriquez, CEO for San Pedro Parques which won four of the Awards, said:
"The journey towards obtaining the Green Flag Award for our parks has shown us the path to reach new standards and maintain them - uniting our staff and validating our work to our visitors. With the Green Flag Award raised high above ours and other parks - Mexico's standards for urban parks have forever changed for the best."
Cross country collaboration in North America is also blossoming. Vitoria Martin, Director of Content and Education at National Association of Parks and Recreation of Mexico (ANPR México) led the judging team for the Presidio this year.
Vitoria was part of the first cohort of judges to be trained in North America this year, as part of ANPRs role as the National Operator for the program in Mexico.
Image 3: The first cohort of eight Green Flag Award judges were trained in July in Mexico City.
ANPR also have close ties to their US counterpart - The National Recreation and Parks Association of America (NRPA). The two organisations work closely on exchanging best practice,knowledge and expertise.
In a further demonstration of inter-continental work, NRPA attended the Green Flag Award judging process at the Presidio this year in an observational capacity. Whilst formal discussions are yet to take place, NRPA are interested in how the park specific Green Flag Award might work within the USA alongside their much respected park agency focused CAPRA accreditation.
Carl McClean, Development Manager for the Green Flag Award said:
“We’re excited to celebrate another Green Flag Award win for the Presidio of San Francisco. We have been really impressed with the progress made in terms of both landscape development and management strategy. Most inspiring is the exemplary efforts to engage the diverse and often underrepresented communities of the Bay Area here. So many people that didn’t previously visit now call this place their own.”
"In Mexico it's inspiring to see ANPR embrace their stewardship of the Award this year by delivering judges training for eight new assessors as well as a three fold increase in Award winners."“Well done to everyone involved across North America. We are ready and waiting to work with anybody interested in the program, wherever they are based in the continent”
The Green Flag Award® is a non-profit international accreditation programme that recognises and rewards well managed parks and green spaces. Today the Green Flag Award proudly flies above more than 2,400 places in 17 countries around the world.
The programme is managed internationally by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy, alongside a network of National Operators in several countries. See the website Network page for more information.
To find out more in general, or apply for an Award, whichever country you are based in; explore the Green Flag Award website: https://www.greenflagaward.org, or alternatively click here for a contact form.