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China

Chinese children's green dreams flourish in garden

2018-03-12 09:02:05

WUHAN, March 11 (Xinhua) -- Adorned by floral designs by 29 children, a once-vacant patch of land has become an eye catcher in Wuhan City, central China's Hubei Province.

The 3,000-square-meter zone in Shahu Park, called "Dream Garden," features colorful flowers and trees placed in patterns, such as a rainbow, fox or dragon.

The little garden was open to the public just before March 12, 2017, China's Arbor Day, months after the designers were recruited into the project by the city's greening office.

"Maybe our garden is not the prettiest, but is the most imaginative," said designer Mei Yichen, a third-grader.

The designers, all primary school students in Wuhan, have been on course in botany led by the office.

From 2016, campaign has included lectures and small classes at parks, benefiting more than 5,000 children.

Each study group consists of a mentor and three to five children. The course lasts at least six months. The designers were outstanding performers from each group.

"Our tutor taught us how to plant, trim and graft myrtle. I really used my imagination and have become more patient," said Dong Chuhan, who designed a rainbow-shaped flower bed in the garden.

The children were encouraged to record their observations during the training in paintings or diaries. The best pieces were compiled into a book last year.

In China, popularization of botany often take places around Arbor Day. "Arbor Day is to raise awareness of environmental protection. However, kids may forget about the issue right after planting a tree on the day, said Tang Wen with the office.

Our campaign is aimed at inspiring their interest in nature, Tang said.

Some Chinese parents prematurely focus on their children's academic performance and that does no good, said Liu Huajie, a professor with the Peking University. "The practice in Wuhan brings kids back to the arms of nature," Liu said.

The Wuhan greening office plans to promote weekly botanical lectures among all of the city's 300,000 primary school students this year.

Editor:Jiang Yiwei