Annual Report 2003 - Leisure and Cultural Services Department Brand Hong Kong - Asia's world city
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  Horticulture and Amenities

Zoological and Botanical Gardens

Despite its urban environment, the Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens (HKZBG) is a 5.4 hectare 'green lung' overlooking Central District, and provides a viable conservation centre for 17 endangered species of mammal, bird and reptile. The bird collection is one of the most comprehensive in Asia, with more than 500 birds of 177 species. More than 15 of these species have reared offspring. The mammal collection specialises in primates, with 63 exhibits representing 20 species.

The Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens is the 'green lung' of Hong Kong.
The Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens is the 'green lung' of Hong Kong.

More than 750 species of tree, shrub, creeper and foliage plant thrive in the gardens, while the medicinal plant collection, established in 1987 and a greenhouse built in 1993, continue to generate particular interest. These facilities contain about 500 species of herb, orchid, fern, bromeliad, carnivorous and indoor plants.

There are ongoing programmes to upgrade the animal enclosure and facilities.

Zoological collections are also housed in Hong Kong Park, Kowloon Park, Tuen Mun Park and Yuen Long Park.


Tree Planting and Preservation

The department continued to implement its ambitious tree-planting programme and about 40,000 trees were planted during the year. Most were planted in the rainy season (March to October) to ensure establishment and growth of the plants. Seventy per cent of the trees were planted in the New Territories and the balance in urban areas with some 28,000 trees planted along roadsides and 12,000 in parks and gardens.

Delonix is one of the flowering trees commonly found in Hong Kong.
Delonix is one of the flowering trees commonly found in Hong Kong.

In the past, trees were planted for functional purposes such as shading, screening, soil protection and conservation, which formed a good basis for greening the environment. However, the emphasis of this year's programme was also aesthetic. About 32,000 flowering trees such as bauhinia, bombax, cassia, delonix and spathodea, were planted to provide a greater visual impact and strong seasonal colours.

To ensure healthy growth, the trees are regularly watered, pruned and given fertiliser, while weeds are removed, pests controlled and the stakes supporting the plants are loosened.

The increased tree cultivation has prompted the department to establish a computerised tree inventory system to enhance the management and maintenance of the great variety of trees.

The department is also drawing up a register of old and valuable trees on government land to strengthen its efforts in preserving and protecting these trees.


Zoo and Horticulture Education

The Zoo and Horticulture Education programmes for school groups continue to be very popular. Some 16,000 primary students from 442 schools took part in zoological education projects, and 9,300 students from 239 schools joined in the horticultural education programmes. Additionally, 21 conservation courses were held for 613 Girl Guides and 26 horticultural courses organised for the public were attended by nearly 800 enthusiasts.

An exhibition at the Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens in December to promote bird watching in urban parks attracted 6,000 people of all ages. Roving exhibitions were also held at Hong Kong Park, Kowloon Park, Tuen Mun Park, Yuen Long Park and Tai Po Waterfront Park.

Primary school students show interest in the Zoo Education Programme conducted in the Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens.
Primary school students show interest in the Zoo Education Programme conducted in the Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens.

In addition, a 21 outreach promotional programmes, including horticultural talks and demonstrations, were introduced to schools and voluntary agencies. All received encouraging feedback.


Horticulture and Landscape Services

Since the department is responsible for improving the urban environment and the overall landscape, the latest horticultural and arboricultural information has been collated for updating relevant policies and guidelines. The department also regularly reviews its practices to achieve a high management and maintenance standard for community amenities.

Staff maintaining landscape to improve the environment.
Staff maintaining landscape to improve the environment.

As part of the greening of Hong Kong programme, the department closely monitors the implementation of master tree-planting plans in all districts. Emphasis is placed on preserving existing trees, nurturing new ones and carrying out compensatory tree planting on development sites. During the year, more than 7,600 trees were successfully preserved.

The department is also responsible for vetting the landscaping of all new public works projects to ensure that maximum planting and high quality landscape works are provided. During the year, improvements to the landscape were made on 33 hectares of existing LCSD venues and roadside amenities.

There is a Panel of Advisors on Horticulture and Amenities to advise the department on the promotion and development of horticulture and amenities.

 
 
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