San Francisco

Award Honoring Best Parks Worldwide Recognizes Presidio of San Francisco

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The Presidio in San Francisco is the first park in the United States to get the award that recognizes the best parks and green spaces in the world, the park's officials said Tuesday.

The Presidio was recognized with the Green Flag Award, an honor that aims to make sure everyone is able to access quality green space for healthy lifestyles.

The Presidio is a national park within the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, which gets more visitors than any other national park in the country. More than 7.5 million people visit it each year, according to officials with the Presidio.

"We are so proud to be the first park to fly the Green Flag Award in the United States," Jean Fraser, CEO of Presidio Trust, said in a statement.

The Presidio offers a host of activities for visitors and many are free to give everyone access to the park. Entry is free as are 25 miles of trails, docent-led art tours, and among other activities, bike-riding lessons.

In addition, a free shuttle offers visitors the ability to get around the park and a bus goes to the park from The Embarcadero and the Transbay Terminal, a transit terminal that connects the city to other parts of the Bay Area.

Over 2,000 parks and green spaces in 15 countries worldwide fly the Green Flag Award. Examples include Al Ain Oasis in the United Arab Emirates, a UNESCO World Heritage site, Centennial Parklands in Sydney, Australia and Parque Fundidora in Monterrey, Mexico.

In a statement, Carl McClean, international development manager for the Green Flag Award, said, "Huge congratulations are in order for the Presidio Trust. We are delighted that such an iconic and innovative park has set the benchmark for others in the United States to follow."

The Green Flag Award began in 1996 in the United Kingdom. The Presidio was a military outpost before it was transformed into a park that is 1,491 acres in northwest San Francisco.

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