Green flag is flying at Knockreer centre

KNOCKREER Education Centre in the heart of Killarney National Park has been awarded its first ever green flag, just one of a handful of centres nationwide to have achieved the honour.

The centre is a venue for school visits, allowing pupils to interact with nature, and now the staff's hard work has been officially recognised following the successful completion of the Eco-Centres Programme Ireland.

International Eco-Schools Programme Director Brid Conneely paid a visit to the centre on Friday where she congratulated staff on receiving their first Eco-Centres Green Flag.

Field Studies Co-ordinator Chris Barron explained to her the centre's role in helping to create a more sustainable environment, as well as its aim of raising awareness of the importance of Ireland's biodiversity.

"I'm delighted that the hard work put in by Killarney National Park Education Centre has resulted in the centre being awarded a Green Flag as they have really embraced the spirit of the programme," Green Schools Biodiversity Officer for An Taisce, Rachel Boyle, said.

"The Eco-Centres Programme is key to environmental education as it provides a means to link the Green Schools Programme in primary and secondary curricula to field trips and project work," Rachel added.

The green flag will be officially raised in the coming weeks by Minister Jimmy Deenihan. The award has to be renewed every two years and Knockreer is one of just four centres in Ireland awarded a green flag under the pilot programme which is driven by An Taisce, local authorities and government departments.

Knockreer now joins Gortbrack Organic Farm in Ballyseedy, Tralee, which was awarded the flag in October, Delphi Adventure Centre in County Mayo and Fota Wildlife Park.