15 January 2020

Presidio becomes first park in USA to win the international Green Flag Award

The Presidio of San Francisco has become the first park in the United States - and America’s first national park site - to achieve the international Green Flag Award®, which recognises the highest standards of management, maintenance and development in the public parks and green spaces sector around the world.

The Presidio joins more than 2,000 parks and green spaces in 15 countries that proudly fly the Green Flag Award, including sites in Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Turkey, Finland, Belgium, Spain and the United Arab Emirates.

Pacific Overlook by Charity Vargas

Photo: Pacific Overlook by Charity Vargas

Founded in 1996 in England, the aim of the Green Flag Award, which is managed globally by UK environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy, is to ensure that everyone, regardless of where the live, has access to a quality park or green space.

The Presidio of San Francisco is at the centre of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, the most visited national park in America. The park welcomes more than 7.5 million visitors each year and is managed by the Presidio Trust in partnership with the US National Park Service and with the support of Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy.

Main Post - courtesy of The Presidio Trust

Photo: Main Post - Courtesy of the Presidio Trust

The park ranked within the highest overall scoring bracket for the award following an assessment by the judges under eight key criteria: A Welcoming Place; Healthy, Safe and Secure; Well Maintained and Clean; Environmental Management; Biodiversity, Landscape and Heritage; Community Involvement; Marketing and Communication; and Management.

The evaluation report concluded: “In a relatively short space of time the San Francisco Presidio has been transformed from a former military outpost designed to ‘keep people out’, into one of the most welcoming and well-facilitated public resources the judges have ever visited. The management team is focused and committed to preserving and further enhancing the park.”

 Visitor Centre by Charity Vargas

Photo: Visitor Centre by Charity Vargas

Jean Fraser, CEO of The Presidio Trust said:

“We are so proud to be the first park to fly the Green Flag Award in the United States. The Presidio is a national park site where people, plants and animals all thrive due to the commitment to excellence by our board, staff, partners and volunteers.”

Carl McClean, International Development Manager for the Green Flag Award said:

“The Presidio Trust deserves huge congratulations for achieving what is now the internationally recognised standard for parks and green spaces. We are delighted that such an iconic and innovative park has set the benchmark for others in the United States to follow.”

 Crissy Field by Charity Vargas

Photo: Crissy Field by Charity Vargas

The Presidio joins a number of other high profile Green Flag Award parks around the world such as: Regents Park in London, UK; The Phoenix Park in Dublin, Ireland; Centennial Parklands in Sydney, Australia, Parque Fundidora, in Monterrey, Mexico and Al Ain Oasis in the United Arab Emirates – also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

UK Government Minister for Parks and Green Spaces, Lord Younger said:

“I want to give huge congratulations to the hard-working parks management team at the Presidio of San Francisco on their successful receipt of the Green Flag Award. The United States now joins a list of 15 countries where this prestigious status has been achieved"

“The continued global growth of the Green Flag Award is testimony to the outstanding dedication of Keep Britain Tidy to create a world where parks and green spaces meet the needs of the communities they serve.”

Any space that is publicly accessible and free to enter is eligible to apply and the scheme welcomes applications from new countries every year.

To find out more, or apply for the Award, whichever country you are based in, visit:  www.greenflagaward.org or email greenflagawards@keepbritaintidy.org