The Green Flag Award scheme is an international mark of quality which recognises the efforts of local community engagement with green space involvement
Waterford City and County Council (WCCC) has attained Green Flag Award status for two outstanding amenities in Waterford City and County: The Kilbarry Nature Park and the Waterford Greenway. The announcement was made by An Tasice in September 2020.
Graham Fallon, student of Horticulture at Waterford Institute of Technology, has been hugely influential in compiling the necessary items for the application documents which resulted in these awards.
Green Flag for Parks is part of the Horticultural college programme and this has been a firsthand experience for Graham in the benefits of the Green Flag for Parks. WCCC has a close relationship with both WIT and Kildalton Collage and has hosted many horticultural students over the years as part of their work experience programme.
The Mayor of the City and County of Waterford, Cllr Damien Geoghegan, said “As a new entrant to the Green Flag Award scheme, Waterford is honoured to be awarded green flag status for two of our flagship sites. I want to commend the work of the environment and roads sections for their impeccable attention to detail in their maintenance of these, and indeed, all of our stunning amenities in Waterford. We are fortunate here in Waterford to have these beautiful places on our doorstep and the work of Waterford Council staff is to be applauded”.
Eoin Dullea, of Waterford City and County Council’s Environment Department coordinated the Green Flag application process, while staff of both Parks & Open Spaces and Amenities are tasked with the everyday care and maintenance of Kilbarry Nature Park, thus ensuring the park is managed to high standards. This award is recognition of their commitment to Kilbarry Nature Park and the amenity it offers to the people of Waterford.
Waterford Greenway has received a Green Flag Award for Parks – awarded by An Taisce Environment Education Unit.
Kilbarry Nature Park has received two Green Flag awards:
- Green Flag for Parks – awarded by An Taisce Environment Education Unit.
- Green Flag for Parks Pollinator Awards 2020 – ‘Highly commended’. Special Award 2020. Pollinator Award jointly run with National Biodiversity Data Centre and An Taisce Environmental Education to support the All Ireland Pollinator Plan.
Waterford Greenway is the first Greenway to win such a prestigious award and is in keeping with the various successes already attained since opening in 2017 including the Independent.ie Reader Travel Award in 2019 for ‘Ireland’s Favourite Adventure’, the 2018 LAMA All Ireland Community and Council Award for ‘Best Tourism Initiative, and Grand Prix winner’. Waterford Greenway attracted over 284,000 visitors in 2019 and was a finalist in The Irish Tourism Industry Awards under ‘Best Ireland’s Ancient East Tourism Experience (Large)’.
The success of Waterford Greenway is, in a large part, down to the commitment of local communities and their engagement with the amenity in local festivals, events and community clean ups. The many attractions along the 46km track which interact and bring additional visitor experiences are also part of what has become one of Ireland’s favourite amenities. The work of Waterford City and County Council’s maintenance crew who work to maintain the Greenway to an impeccable standard is to be commended in working to achieve this prestigious award.
Kilbarry Nature Park is a safe, secure and accessible amenity in the heart of Waterford City which encompasses an integrated wetland, wildflower meadows, Kilbarry Bog and promotes good practice in the management of native flora and fauna. A former municipal landfill site, the area has been re-mediated to create a popular space for the community. Waterford Council has been entrusted to do this in a sustainable and socially inclusive manner which seeks to protect and enhance biodiversity within the City bounds. The Kilbarry Nature Park is also the first remediated landfill to win this prestigious award.