Horticulture and Amenities

Zoological and Botanical Gardens

Despite its urban environment, the Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens is a 5.6 hectare 'green lung' overlooking Central District, and provides a viable conservation centre for 17 endangered species of mammals, birds and reptiles. The bird collection is one of the most comprehensive in Asia, with about 400 birds of 140 species. More than 15 of these species have reared offspring. The mammal collection specialises in primates, with 65 exhibits representing 21 species.

Cuddly friends from the primates collection in the Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens: black and white lemur (above) , ring-tailed lemur (bottom left) and white-faced saki (bottom right).
Photo Photo

Trees, shrubs, creepers and foliage of more than 750 plant species thrive in the gardens, and the herb garden that was established in 1987 and a greenhouse that was built in 1993 continue to generate particular interest. These facilities contain about 500 species of herbs, orchids, ferns, bromeliads, and carnivorous and indoor plants.

There are continuing programmes to upgrade the animal enclosures and facilities.

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

Zoological and Horticultural Education

Zoological and horticultural education programmes were organised to arouse the interest of the public in conservation and greening. Over 21 000 people participated in 425 zoological projects and around 20 500 people were involved in 391 horticultural programmes. The education programmes for schools again proved very popular and attracted 18 800 primary school students and 1 600 kindergarten children.

Children show a keen response during a guided visit to the Green Education and Resource Centre in Kowloon Park.

The zoological exhibition in Tuen Mun Park Reptile House attracted over 7 000 visitors, and the horticultural education exhibition in Kowloon Park attracted a patronage of over 5 000 people. Roving exhibitions were held in Hong Kong Park, Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens, Lai Chi Kok Park, Yuen Long Park, North District Park and Tai Po Waterfront Park. Nineteen conservation courses were also offered for the Girl Guides to acquire Interest Badges. These programmes were well received and encouraging feedback was given.

The Spurred Tortoises are two of the most visited habitants in the Tuen Mun Park Reptile House.

Under the school greening programme, the Greening School Subsidy Scheme provided over 740 schools and kindergartens with cash subsidies to add more greenery to their campuses and to organise greening educational activities for their students with technical advice given by part-time instructors. About 350 000 students were each given a pot of seedlings to nurture at home or in 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 develop an interest in the subject.

Tree Planting and Preservation

Implementation of the Department's ambitious tree-planting programme continued with the planting of around 10 000 trees in 2006. Most were planted in the rainy season (March to October) to ensure the establishment and growth of the trees.

Seventy-one per cent of the trees were planted in the New Territories and the balance were planted in urban areas, with 4 500 trees planted along roadsides and 5 500 in parks and gardens.

In the past, trees were planted for functional purposes to provide shade, screening, soil protection and conservation, which formed a good basis for greening the environment. Nevertheless, aesthetics has also been an emphasis of the programmes in recent years. During the year, about 7 000 flowering trees, including Bauhinia variegata, Delonix regia, Erythrina variegata, Jacaranda mimosifolia, Lagerstroemia speciosa and Spathodea campanulata, were planted to provide a greater visual impact and stronger seasonal colours.

Jacaranda mimosifolia, with its distinct purple flowers, adds a vibrant and seasonal look to the city.

The 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 overall landscape, the latest horticultural and arboricultural information has been collated to update relevant policies and guidelines. The Department also reviews from time to time its practices to achieve high management and maintenance standards for community amenities.

As part of the greening of Hong Kong, the Department closely monitors the implementation of planting programmes in all districts. Emphasis is placed on preserving existing trees, nurturing new ones and carrying out tree planting on development sites. During the year, more than 3 200 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 work are provided. During the year, improvements to the landscape were made on 45 hectares of existing venues, footbridges, vacant government lands and roadside amenities.

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Last revision date: 18 October, 2016