Monday, June 13, 2016

A bit of history of Daan Park 大安森林公園

Daan Park is a big park right in the city center. Next to a very thought after public school, Taipei City Library (with a nice collection of children's book in English), Holy Family Catholic church, mosque and other attractions. It's very easy to get there, just hop on MRT and get off at the Daan Park MRT Station. There is also a large parking under the park.

Source: 臺灣民間文學website
Already in 1932 there were plans for building a park in that area. After the Nationalist Army came to Taiwan in 1949, the area became a place of residence for soldiers and their families. Some time later also a dormitory for foreign students was build there.

In the beginning of 1990th the city started making serious plans of moving the residents of that prime location and setting uo a large park just like the London's Hyde Park and New York City's Central Park. The idea was for the park to become "the lungs of the city".
The park was opened in the spring of 1994. Daan Forest Park occupies 26 hectares and the new condominiums around the park have become one of the most expensive houses in Taipei.

The park has a nice, big playground with a large sandpit, rollerblading rinks, outdoor stage and kilometers of paved alleys to stroll along. In summer there are many outdoor concerts held there and throughout the year all kinds of outdoor exhibits take place in the park. The place is very popular among residents of Taipei, both locals and foreign.

Last week our Tuesday nature class took place in that park. Unfortunately for most of the class I was not present, only Ania was there.

In the beginning of the class the kids made cute butterflies with colorful pipe cleaners and also dried leaves:



When I got back to the park the kids have already started playtime.
Climbing trees:





Swining from "lianas":




Making cartwheels:



And here is a group photo of all the nature class participants:
It's a very international crowd, with families coming from Taiwan, Poland, Spain, USA and Malaysia.


Unfortunately not everything has been done environmentally friendly. When the park was build the city has not consulted the landscape architects, the people in charge all had construction background. As a result of that not enough soil was provided for the trees to grow so many of them do not have a strong root system and need to be supported.
Here you can watch a report on this (in Chinese):



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