Taipei begins second phase of wetland park

Taipei begins second phase of wetland park

NATION’S FIRST:Once completed, the Yongchunpi Wetland Park would provide diverse habitats for plants and animals, and alleviate the urban heat island effect.

The Taipei City Government yesterday broke ground for the second phase of the Yongchunpi Wetland Park (永春陂生態濕地公園) in the city’s Hsinyi District (信義) in a bid to increase biodiversity and improve the Sishou Mountain trail.

The park, the former Yongchunpi military camp owned by the Ministry of National Defense, was transferred to the city government after sitting idle for 10 years.

The city originally planned to build more than 2,000 public housing units on the 3.43 hectare plot, but after collecting suggestions from experts, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) in July 2015 announced that the nation’s first urban wetland park would be established on the plot.

The first phase of the park’s construction was completed and it was opened to the public in September last year. It includes two ecological ponds, an ecological trail, two observation platforms and an observation classroom.

At yesterday’s groundbreaking ceremony, Ko said the city government bought the plot for about about NT$600 million (US$19.73 million) and spent about NT$4 million on the first phase, adding that it plans to spend about NT$68 million on the second phase.

The park would cover 3.98 hectares when completed and would be incorporated into the Sishou Mountain ecosystem, also serving as a flood detention pond, he said.

Ko said the wetland would reduce the city’s urban heat island effect — which means the metropolitan area is much warmer than surrounding rural areas — and improve the surrounding environment.

The park would provide diverse habitats for plants and animals; increase water holding capacity by 4,895m3 and detention pond storage volume by 1,207m3; and is estimated to absorb about 57 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually, the Taipei Public Works Department’s Geotechnical Engineering Office said.

Ko said a borough warden told him that many visitors come to the Sishou Mountain trail, adding that he has instructed Taipei Department of Public Works Commissioner Pong Cheng-sheng (彭振聲) to make a comprehensive plan to integrate the park, the trail and the nearby public restrooms to improve the experience of visitors.

The park is expected to be completed by October next year, the office said.

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