Capital’s residents enjoy benefits of parks project

BLOSSOMING::A Taipei scheme has let residents enjoy greenery on their doorsteps, with trees and plants covering at least 60 percent of many parks in the city

By Mo Yan-chih  /  Staff reporter

Sat, Mar 02, 2013 - Page 3

For those who wish to enjoy cherry blossoms in Taipei, the Yangmingshan National Park (陽明山國家公園) is no longer the only destination, following a project led by the Taipei City Government which has overseen the renovation of 251 community parks, including the planting of cherry trees and flowers, transforming the parks into scenic gardens for residents.

For example, Yongjing Park in Zhongshan District (中山) now has 22 cherry trees which have been planted since 2004, with 90 percent of them currently in bloom.

The park is one of 251 of the city’s parks that were included in a community renovation project with a budget of NT$580 million (US$1.9 million) allocated to improve green spaces.

Under the project, districts are encouraged to apply for subsidies to replace worn-out facilities, plant more greenery and redesign community spaces.

Zhongshan District head Ho Hsi-hsiung (何喜雄) said he purchased Taiwanese cherry trees (台灣山櫻) and Yoshino cherry trees (吉野櫻) and planted them in Yongjing Park to allow residents to enjoy cherry blossoms near their homes.

In Songshan District (松山), six community parks have become popular recreational areas for residents, with cherry blossoms and maple trees attracting people who come to enjoy the flowers and greenery on a daily basis.

Taipei City’s Department of Civil Affairs Commissioner Huang Lu Ching-ju (黃呂錦茹) said the department instructed Taipei districts to participate in the renovation project and stipulated that each park should be least 60 percent covered in greenery following renovation.

While inspecting Yongjing Park yesterday, Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) said the city government will continue its efforts to improve community parks and turn Taipei into a greener city.

“With these beautiful community parks, Taipei residents can enjoy cherry blossoms near their homes or offices. We hope these parks will be like backyard gardens to our residents,” the mayor said.