Bike program under way
Kaohsiung City has begun to accept applications for membership in its automatic bike rental system, the city’s Environmental Protection Bureau said yesterday. Anyone interested in taking advantage of the public bike system can apply for a full-year membership for NT$1,200, a six-month membership for NT$750 or a one-month membership at NT$200, the bureau said. Applicants must also pay a deposit fee of NT$2,000, the bureau said, adding that applications could be filed online, mailed in or faxed. A discount will be offered to those who apply by May 18, the bureau said. There are 20 rental spots throughout the city, including Lotus Pond and Sizihwan (西子灣). Thirty more spots will be opened by the end of May.
Fewer students go to Europe
There has been a slight decrease in the number of students studying abroad in Europe over the past eight years, the latest figures from the Ministry of Education showed. The figure dropped by 249 students from 9,251 people in 2001 to 9,002 last year, statistics showed. The majority of students went to Britain, with 5,885 people last year, down from 7,583 students in 2001, the ministry said. The number of students studying in France and Germany last year came in second and third, with 983 people in France and 558 students in Germany. Only a small number of students — fewer than 100 — were in Ireland, Denmark, Finland, Belgium and the Czech Republic for studies last year, the data showed.
Outdoor exhibits planned
Eight outdoor art installations with the theme of “Wetlands and Culture” will be on display in Taipei County’s Guandu Eco-park from June to Sept. 27, park authorities said yesterday. The Guandu park includes a 7 hectare constructed wetland, which is home to dozens of protected animal and plant species. The eight artists, who submitted drafts of their projects, were selected by the park from 238 entries from 48 countries. The artists will begin to create their installations on June 2. Two artists are Taiwanese, while the other six are from countries including India, South Korea, the US, the Netherlands and Norway. To give the public an opportunity to interact with the artists, anyone interested in participating in the art projects by lending the artists a hand can sign up by calling (02) 2858-7417 ext. 219. Volunteers must be high school age or older.
Butterfly festival begins
An annual festival that celebrates the migration of purple milkweed butterflies from the south of the island to the north began in Yunlin County’s Linnei Township (林內) on Saturday. Pingding Village in Linnei is one of the best-known rest stops along the butterflies’ biannual migration route in the spring and late fall. After Linnei, the butterflies fly over National Freeway No. 3 on their way to breeding grounds in the north. Linnei is considered the best place to view the dazzling display of milkweed butterflies. The festival, which is in its third year, features a range of activities designed by the township, including a tour of Pingding ecology, hiking on the Lungkuomai trail, a steel sculpture exhibit and a food festival. The activities run every weekend until April 5. The peak migration period is between March 22 and April 7. The largest number of butterflies last year was seen on April 5, when more than 1,000 butterflies per minute flew over a road in Pingding.