Horticulture and Amenities
Zoological and Botanical Gardens
The Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens provide relief from Hong Kong's urban environment, serving as a 5.6-hectare 'green lung' overlooking the Central District. They also represent a viable conservation centre for 15 endangered mammal, bird and reptile species. The Gardens' bird collection is one of the most comprehensive in Asia, home to about 400 birds of 140 different species, more than 15 of which have reared offspring there. The mammal collection focuses on primates and has 70 exhibits representing 18 species.
|The Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens serve as a 5.6-hectare 'green lung' overlooking Central District.|
Trees, shrubs, creepers and foliage of more than 900 plant species thrive in the Gardens. A herb garden was established in 1987, and a greenhouse was built in 1993 to continue to generate specialist interest. These facilities contain about 500 species of herbs, orchids, ferns, bromeliads, and carnivorous and indoor plants. A new education and exhibition centre was completed in 2008 to provide teaching facilities, guided visits and the display of botanical and zoological specimens.
|A taxidermy specimen of the female jaguar Siu Fa on display at the Education and Exhibition Centre of the Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens.|
Upgrades of the animal enclosures and other facilities are currently being implemented.
Zoological collections are also housed in Hong Kong Park, Kowloon Park,
Tuen Mun Park and Yuen Long Park.
Zoological and Horticultural Education
A number of zoological and horticultural education programmes have been implemented to arouse public interest in conservation and green issues. More than 22 000 people participated in 444 zoological projects in 2008-09, and around 21 000 in 408 horticultural programmes. Some 580 education programmes were organised for more than 19 000 students in Hong Kong's schools.
|Zoological education programmes are organised to arouse school students' interest in and awareness of conservation.|
The zoological exhibition at the Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens attracted more than 7 400 visitors during the year, and the horticultural education exhibition at Kowloon Park more than 7 600. Roving exhibitions were held at Hong Kong Park, Yuen Long Park, Tuen Mun Park, North District Park and Tai Po Waterfront Park, and 18 conservation courses were also offered to enrich the public's knowledge of conservation. These programmes were well-received, according to the encouraging feedback provided.
The Greening School Subsidy Scheme, which was carried out as part of a school greening programme, provided more than 790 schools and kindergartens with cash subsidies to add more greenery to their campuses and to organise green educational activities for their students, with technical advice provided by part-time instructors. About 350 000 students were given pots of seedlings to nurture at home or at school under the 'One Person, One Flower' Scheme, which was established to help children gain a better understanding of how to grow plants and to encourage them to develop an interest in the subject.
Tree Planting and Preservation
The Department's ambitious tree-planting programme continued apace, with around 10 000 trees planted in 2008-09. Most were planted during the rainy season (March to October) to ensure their establishment and growth.
Eighty per cent of these trees were planted in the New Territories, with the remainder planted in urban areas, including 7 000 along roadsides and 3 000 in parks and gardens.
Trees have traditionally been planted for the functional purposes of providing shade, screening, soil protection and conservation, which has formed a good basis for the greening of the environment. However, aesthetics have also been emphasised in recent years. In 2008-09, about 7 000 flowering trees, including Bauhinia variegata, Delonix regia, Jacaranda mimosifolia, Lagerstroemia speciosa and Spathodea campanulata, were planted to provide a greater visual impact and stronger seasonal colours.
|Bauhinia variegata, with its vivid pink flowers, adds colour to the city.|
Hong Kong's many trees are regularly watered, pruned and fertilised to ensure healthy growth, with weeds removed and pests controlled.
Horticultural and Landscape Services
As the Department is responsible for improving the urban environment and the overall landscape, it collects the latest horticultural and arboricultural information and uses it to update relevant policies and guidelines. The Department also periodically reviews its practices to achieve high-level management and maintenance standards for community amenities.
As part of the greening of Hong Kong, we closely monitor the implementation of planting programmes in all districts, with emphasis placed on preserving existing trees, nurturing new ones and planting trees on development sites. During the year, more than 4 400 trees were successfully preserved.
|The LCSD closely monitors the implementation of the planting programmes in all districts as part of the greening of the territory.|
The Department is also responsible for vetting the landscaping of all new public works projects to ensure that maximum planting and high-quality landscape work are provided. In 2008-09, landscape improvements were made on 45 hectares of existing venues, footbridges, vacant government land and roadside amenities.