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8th European Greenways Awards
The 8th European Greenways Awards have been given on September 28th 2017 during the official ceremony in Limerick Co. (Ireland)
Seven greenways from Belgium, Serbia, Portugal, Spain and Ireland were awarded as reference of best practices in Europe. The Award ceremony was held in Adare, Limerick Co. (Ireland)). The European Greenways Award was created in 2003 and has been held every two years since.
EGWA has been delighted to receive candidacies from Austria, Belgium, Serbia, Czech Republic, Spain and Portugal, and wishes to thank all the candidates for the quality of their work and the effort done to provide very helpful information to the jury.
In this 2017 edition the international jury has awarded projects in two categories: “Excellence”, “Exemplary Initiatives” and one special prize from the jury. The jury met in Brussels last 21st June, and as laid down in the award regulations, they set out to select 3 awards for the “Excellence” and 3 for “Exemplary Initiatives” and a special award from the jury to recognize a particularly admirable greenway. We are pleased to announce that the award winners are:
1st Prize: Vennbahn- (Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg) presented by the East Belgium Tourism Agency (Tourismusagentur Ostbelgien), Belgium
For the excellent 125 km long cross-border greenway running through three countries (Germany, Belgium, and Luxembourg) which makes use of one old cross-border railway line. Conceived and developed as a European cooperation project, the greenway has been continually improved since its inauguration in 2013, perfecting its already excellent initial overall quality and considerably increasing its popularity and visitors number.
2nd Prize: “First Greenway in Serbia”, presented by the city of Uzice, Serbia.
For the redevelopment as a high quality greenway infrastructure of the first 5 kilometres of an abandoned railway line in the River Djetinja canyon. It is accessible for all, including people with reduced mobility. The initiative, which has regenerated the corridor and provided access to a privileged natural setting, enjoys a high level of local involvement and receives a strongly growing number of visitors.
3rd Prize: Rio Minho Greenway – Portugal, presented by the Municipalities of Monção, Valença, Vila Nova de Cerveira and Caminha, Portugal.
For the high quality infrastructure of the nearly 50 km long itinerary along the Minho River, using a disused railway line extended by riverside paths and rural tracks. The Minho Greenway connects towns, villages and places of natural interest, many of them part of the Natura 2000 Network, enabling locals and tourists, including those with reduced mobility, to access areas of exceptional natural beauty. It has been highly rated by visitors.
EXEMPLARY INITIATIVES category
1st Prize: Sierra Greenway universal accessibility adaptation plan, presented by the Sierra Greenway Foundation (Andalusia, Spain)
For an initiative to achieve universal accessibility on a greenway located in an isolated mountain area, so that everyone can use and enjoy the Sierra Greenway and associated services without difficulty and without barriers. A small project in terms of budget but one with a very high positive impact in terms of results, it is encouraging more people with disabilities to visit the greenway.
2nd Prize: Greenways of the Jaen Green Corridor, presented by the Jaen Provincial Government (Andalusia, Spain)
For the long term initiative of reforesting and rehabilitating 35.8 km of the greenway corridor in the province of Jaen in order to alleviate the extreme high summer temperatures, to protect and maintain biodiversity, and to provide food resources for animals and users (fruit). 23,635 plants of different formats and species have been reintroduced since 2005 and the work is ongoing.
3rd Prize: Way-of-commitment / Vía Compromiso, presented by the Greenways Consortium of the Region of Murcia, Spain
For the innovative initiative for the conservation, maintenance, and enhancement of the greenway of the Northwest of Murcia through volunteer actions within the framework of corporate social responsibility, combined with the performance of maintenance work on the greenway by people serving community service sentences. This scheme helps maintain the greenway while at the same time contributing to social integration.
Special Jury Award
Special Jury Award to the Great Southern Greenway (GSG), Ireland, and key stakeholders of the greenway: Great Southern Trail Ltd and Limerick City and County Council.
To GST Ltd, in recognition of the efforts made and all the work done for more than 25 years, since 1991, by the volunteer enthusiasts of the GST who with their tireless endeavour succeeded in making the conversion of a disused railway line into a greenway a reality to be enjoyed by all.
Limerick CCC, which has taken over the overall management of the now renamed GSG in 2015, is committed to present and future action plans aimed at its overall improvement, with the intention of making it a memorable greenway for the enjoyment of locals and tourists. They have also pledged to extend the greenway beyond the CCC border (into Kerry County).