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 greenspaces 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.

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 greenspace.

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.

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.”