While Hong Kong’s country parks are ecologically rich, the green spots scattered throughout the city’s urban areas are also wonderful habitats for different species of animals and plants. However, living in this fast-paced city, most of us often miss the beautiful scenery around us. To encourage citizens to appreciate and learn more about the natural environment in local communities, the Jane Goodall Institute Hong Kong conducted a “Play Green” tour in Tai Wo this June with the support of Link Together Initiatives, during which participating families could explore the beauty of nature in their communities.
“Tai Wo is a very special community with both unique cultural elements and a beautiful environment. For instance, the Hong Kong Railway Museum shows the history of Hong Kong’s railway development while the Lam Tsuen River, with banyan trees along it, is a popular place for residents to take a break. We can often see herons there,” said Tony Tse, the Jane Goodall Institute Hong Kong’s Project Director, who was responsible for the Play Green tour in Tai Wo. According to Tony, the Play Green tour comprised two parts – an online workshop and a guidedtour in the community. Using examples from daily life, the online workshop increased participants’ knowledge of environmental protection, recycling and reducing waste at its source. It also taught them about upcycling, where “garbage” is turned into toys. Meanwhile, the guided tour, which was designed with treasure hunting games, enabled participants to discover the plants and animals of Tai Wo with the use of a “Green Playbook” and a treasure map, both of which were tailor-made by the Institute.
Three-year-old participant Mickey said excitedly, “My adventure in Tai Wo was super fun!” During the guided tour, Mickey found native plant species including hedychium coronarium, melaleuca leucadendra and frangipani, although the herons that sometimes hang out near the river eluded him. That didn’t seem to bother Mickey, though, as he noted, “I already learnt their features from the Green Playbook and from the guide. And I’m sure that I can find them when I come here again!”
His dad added, “Only after this Play Green tour did I realise how many beautiful plants and animals I’ve missed in the past, even though I pass by here daily.” Clearly, father and son enjoyed their Tai Wo explorations very much!
Tony said that as some people were not able to join the Play Green tours in person due to social distancing restrictions under the pandemic, they can make use of the Green Playbook, which was published by the Institute and was the first of its kind in Hong Kong, to discover the natural beauty around their communities on their own. The Institute hopes that the Play Green tours can serve as a start for people to treasure and protect the environment in their communities through small steps in their daily lives. The next round of Play Green tours will take place in Lok Fu from July to September. To learn more about the registration details, please click here (Chinese only).
Published by the Jane Goodall Institute Hong Kong, the Green Playbook is Hong Kong’s first “playbook” about environmental conservation. Including rich content such as treasure maps in places like Tai Wo and Lok Fu, scenario games that are suitable for students of different ages, guides for making toys and card games about ecological diversity, the Green Playbook is an interesting, fun and useful resource. It allows readers, whether they are at home or in school,to acquire more knowledge about environmental conservation through playing games with their families and friends.
Chinese e-copies are available on request by filling in this form.
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