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Second gardening course starts soon at Tung Chung

A second course for Hong Kong's amateur gardeners will start at the Tung Chung Community Garden inside the Tung Chung Tree Bank at Man Tung Road, Tung Chung on April 25.

Enrolment for the course starts today (March 15) and runs until March 30.

The course is the second of a series under the Community Garden Scheme organised by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department.

The first course, launched last month at Lion Rock Park Community Garden, has been well received by the public. One participant said: "To grow fruit and veggies in a park nearby with our families and friends in our spare time is not only fun, but definitely a good way to relax."

The scheme encourages the public to participate in greening activities at the community level and to adopt greening activities as part of daily life.

Participants learn how to grow ornamental plants, fruit and vegetables in urban parks and then take home the harvest. The courses are conducted in Cantonese.

A spokesman for the department said the scheme was being launched in phases at five parks or tree banks and then it would be extended to other districts in Hong Kong. "We hope that residents who participate in gardening activities at their district parks will have their green consciousness enhanced and their community ties strengthened," he added.

The next two course sites will be inside the tree bank at Wai Tsui Road, North Point; and Fa Hui Park in Sham Shui Po.

The Tung Chung Community Garden is located at Tung Chung town centre, adjacent to the Tung Chung MTR Station, Coastal Skyline and Seaview Cresent.This community garden covers an area of around 1,000 square metres, divided into 50 plots.

A gardening course with a maximum of 50 students will be held at the community garden. Each successful applicant will be allocated a plot of 2.25 square metres on which to practise gardening. They can bring along four friends or relatives, who do not have to pay the course fee.

The scheme is tailor-made for city-dwellers. The community gardens are in easy-to-reach locations. Participants may choose the mode of participation that suits them best. They can take care of their plants from 8am to 6pm daily, or restrict their activities to holidays and weekends, letting the garden keepers look after the regular watering of plants.

Each plot can accommodate up to 50 flower or vegetable plants. Since most of the plants take at least three months to mature, each course lasts four months. The fee for each course is $400.

Application forms are available at the Islands District Leisure Services Office, 6/F, Harbour Building, 38 Pier Road, Central, Hong Kong. Completed forms must be submitted by March 30. If the number of applicants exceeds the course's quota, places will be allocated by ballot.

For enquiries, please call 2852 3220.

Ends/Monday, March 15, 2004
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