Yesterday, Centennial Park was announced as a winner of an inaugural Green Flag Award, an international recognition as one of the world’s leading public parklands.
The prestigious Green Flag Award was awarded for the first time in Australia and New Zealand and, on the back of The Light Garden, caps off a wonderful start to the 125th Anniversary year for Centennial Park!
David Clarke, CEO of Parks Forum (the Green Flag accreditation agency), sent his congratulations and said that the Parklands should be considered alongside some of the world’s highest quality parks. He said: “We know that healthy, well managed parks mean healthier communities and the Green Flag Award shows us which parks are setting the standard.”
So, what is a Green Flag Award?
The Green Flag Award is an international award which assesses the quality of parks across a number of categories, including their safety, quality of the facilities, management of the environment, historical features, and as great places for people to play and recreate.
Originally a UK-based Award program, “[t]he scheme was set up in 1996 to recognise and reward green spaces in England and Wales that met the laid down high standards. It is also seen as a way of encouraging others to achieve the same high environmental standards, creating a benchmark of excellence in recreational green areas.” (ref: Wikipedia)
Each Green Flag Award application is judged against eight key criteria:
- A welcoming place
- Healthy, safe and secure
- Well maintained and clean
- Conservation and heritage
- Community involvement
So, what now?
Parks Forum will send us our very own Green Flag to hoist up high for a year in honour of this recognition. We will shortly be raising this flag in Federation Valley.
Absolutely. With Centennial Park celebrating its 125th Anniversary, this Award confirms what we all pretty much know already – the Park is a world-class gem that we are so fortunate to have just moments from the Sydney CBD.
Australian author and Nobel Prize for Literature winner, Patrick White, once described Centennial Park as the “lungs of the city”. The Park is our park – “the People’s Park”. It’s a place that many generations have planned, created, maintained, fought and protested for, and provides an increasingly important service to the community every day.
As David Clarke said above: “healthy, well managed parks mean healthier communities”, and that is what this Award confirms. Centennial Park is an essential part of our global city. Essential for our health, essential for our environment, essential for the liveability of our city.
We don’t just want Centennial Park…we need it.
Simple as that.
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Here’s three slices of Centennial Park life to leave you with…