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From village to “green lung”

June 21, 2013

Zhongguancun Forest Park is built, in the first stage comprising 950 mu (158 acres), the former Tangjialing village is transformed into a “green lung”


Zhongguancun Forest Park has become a place where relocated residents, and workers from nearby high technology businesses, stroll during their free time, photo Zhang Jiali


Gingko, Chinese pine, goldenrain tree…all sorts of trees dot the winding dark gravel garden path. The former site of Tangjialing village has changed into the Zhongguancun Forest Park. Starting in 2010, 1153 village household compounds were torn down. 2012-03,the first stage of constructing the park was begun. Now the first stage is complete, and the second stage, involving another 110 acres, is under construction.


Walking in the completed section of the park, dark green and light green tints brush against one’s face. However, what really inspired this reporter’s curiosity was that the land was not all flat, but there were many slopes and hillsides of different heights, planted with many varieties of tall and flowering trees.


City planning research specialist Han Bingyue told this reporter, the park was designed as a forest which closely simulates nature, an integration of tall trees and low shrubs in a complete phyto-community.


Compared to the usual type of planted forest, a “simulated nature forest” has  more abundant plant life, with a more stable ecosystem, which means the cost of maintaining and conserving it is lower. For instance, in choosing what to plant, the Chinese pine, locust tree, mountain apricot, willow, goldenrain tree, etc, are all native to the Beijing area. They only need a minimum of care to do well here. In addition, in the park they have planted nectariferous plants, plants that produce berries or nuts, to attract small animals. Within a year, many small birds have built nests,  and rabbits and squirrels have been seen bounding about in the wooded areas.


Using discarded soil sediments, in the park they have planned and built a topography that is like a natural environment. There are sunny slopes, shady slopes, low-lying areas, gentle hills. These different terrains support different plants. When it rains, the water flows from the slopes to the lower areas.


Two low lying areas on the east and west side have become rain collection sites planted with flowers and grasses. During the rainy season the water collects in these areas, dispensing with the need and expense to build pipelines to draw away excess water.  The collected water can be used to irrigate the plants and trees in the park.


The total area will be  850 acres (5100 mu), 3500 mu are slated to be built next year. Many residents who live nearby come and stroll there. “The park is some 500 meters from our replacement housing, it takes about 20 minutes to walk there. I never expected that in my old age I would be able to live in such a nice environment!” 74 year old Tangjialing villager Zhou Dianying happily told this reporter. Many employees from nearby Zhongguancun Software Industrial Park also come here daily to relax.


Zhongguancun Forest park is an important focal point of greenification in Haidian district, setting an example for the rest of the nation.

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