Wednesday, August 02, 2017

A GREEN flag will soon be flying in the Liffey Linear Park in Newbridge, as the town celebrates having one of the finest parks in the country.

The Green Flag for Parks Award was presented following a rigorous assessment of the Linear Park in June, and provides a welcome national recognition for the hard work and dedication of all those who have helped to maintain the high standards demanded by such an award. The Green Flag Award is designed to recognise and encourage the provision of good quality parks and green spaces in the community, but it also requires that such parks are managed and maintained in an environmentally-sustainable manner. 

Ger Ahern from Newbridge Tidy Towns, Mary Condon (Newbridge Tidy Towns), Michael John O’Mahony of An Taisce’s environmental education unit, mayor of Kildare Martin Miley and Kildare County Council executive parks superintendent Paula O’Rourke

The Liffey Linear Park was judged by a peer jury of ‘green space experts’ who assessed the park against eight strict criteria, which included: a welcoming place; healthy, safe and secure; clean and well maintained; environmentally sustainable; conservation of natural features; landscapes and heritage structures; community involvement; marketing and provision of educational information; and implementation of a management plan.

The Green Flag for Parks Award is awarded for exceeding tough environmental standards for green space management, and for delivering excellent visitor facilities. It is the mark of a quality park or green space and is recognised throughout the world.

The award recognises best practice management, effective planning for future improvements or works and the implementation of environmental sustainability in park management plans.

Welcoming the award, Ger Ahern, chairperson of Newbridge Tidy Towns Association, said: “As a community organisation, we are very conscious that quality urban living and recreational spaces are of great importance to any local community, and we welcome the increasing emphasis being placed on the positive health benefits of well-maintained and accessible urban parks.”

With so many people in Newbridge and other communities relying on local parks to relax, take a walk (or, if they choose more vigorous exercise, on the outdoor exercise area in the Linear Park) or just enjoy the peaceful natural surroundings, the importance of the Liffey Linear Park cannot be underestimated. This was the first time that the Liffey Linear Park has been entered into this competition and it was one of only 14 new applicant parks to qualify for a green flag.

Ger Ahern also noted that: “As a community, we must now endeavour to retain the Liffey Linear Park’s Green Flag status into the future, and we look forward to continue working with Kildare County Council and, with their support, to see elements of the management plan implemented to further enhance the Liffey Linear Park.”

The awarding of the green flag is a tribute to all those who have contributed to the development and ongoing maintenance of the Linear Park over many years.

Two parks in County Kildare have received the honour of being awarded green flags last week: the Liffey Linear Park in Newbridge and the OPW-managed Castletown Demesne. The Green Flag Awards are administered by An Taisce, which awarded green flags to 36 Irish parks across the country.

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By Noel O'Driscoll
Contact Newsdesk: 045 432147

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