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CrazyFruits » WORLD NEWS AND SPORTS FROM SKY » Hope Zoo gets Chinese gift

Hope Zoo gets Chinese gift

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1bat Hope Zoo gets Chinese gift on Sun 30 Jan 2011 - 19:48


IN a show of the continued outstanding diplomatic relationship between the governments of Jamaica and the People's Republic of China, the Hope Gardens is to receive a gift from the Chinese Government of a Chinese Traditional Garden valued at US$3 million.

A signing ceremony of the design contract for the garden took place recently at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, New Kingston offices, between Zhang Liyong, counsellor at the Embassy of the People's Republic of China, and Karl Binger, executive director of the Nature Preservation Foundation (NPF), operators of the Hope Gardens and Hope Zoo.

Karl Binger (centre), executive director of Nature Preservation Foundation, exchanges signed document with Zhang Liyong (right), counsellor at the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China, while Leslie Chung (left), chairman of Nature Preservation Foundation, looks on. They were at the New Kingston offices of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade for the signing of the design contract for the Chinese Garden to be located at Hope Gardens.

An image of the moon bridge to be constructed over Lily Pond at the Hope Botanical Gardens and Zoo.

Talks between the Chinese Embassy and executives of NPF have been ongoing over the past two years. However, speaking at the signing ceremony, Leslie Chung, chairman of NPF, said plans are now in place to break ground for the construction of the Chinese Traditional Garden -- to be called the Harmonious Enjoyment Garden — in the first quarter of 2011.

Completion of the gardens, to be established on 5.5 hectares of land, is expected to take place within 12 months after the ground breaking ceremony.

"This will create a major boost for Hope Gardens and we look forward to increased patronage because of the many features which will form part of the new space," Chung said.

"In fact, this will make Hope Gardens an even more attractive venue for corporate events and weddings, as well as for individuals seeking quiet areas for meditation and reflection, while providing the ideal space for outdoor drama presentations," he added.

Under the arrangement, NPF will make a financial input for preparatory work and will be expected to provide some technical and construction resources, while being responsible for securing the premises and overseeing regulatory approvals from the relevant local authorities. In this regard, financial support for the local inputs, will be sought from Corporate, individual or other sponsors, who may wish to be identified with such an innovative green-space project.

The Chinese Traditional Garden will be located in the vicinity of the present Lily Pond at Hope Gardens. The Lily Pond, which is currently in the shape of Jamaica, will be maintained, while the new design will incorporate a moon bridge over the pond. Various exotic plants are expected to be planted in the Gardens.

Overall, the concept of the Traditional Chinese Garden at Hope Gardens will have two distinct areas — the Royal Gardens and the Private Gardens.

In Chinese culture, the Royal Gardens usually contain wooded areas, lakes and hills for the entertainment of royal families and for the holding of ceremonies. The pattern features a garden within a garden.

On the other hand, private gardens are usually part of private homes in cities where outdoor space is limited. The main highlights are the piling of stones to create hills; the use of water; the inclusion of pavilions and terraces, as well as trees and flowers.

In welcoming the project, Counsellor at the Embassy of the Republic of China, Zhang Liyong, said "it is an exciting time" for the countries of Jamaica and China. And he gave the assurance that his embassy would continue to assist in whatever necessary to make the project an outstanding one.

Karl Binger, executive director of NPF said his organisation was very pleased that the discussions had reached its current stage. He thanked representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for their guidance and input, including Jacqueline Bell, who is now posted in China; the Landscape Committee of the NPF, headed by Jacqueline DaCosta and Custos Marigold Harding, who assisted in the lobbying to replicate the Chinese Traditional Gardens in Jamaica, following a visit to China.

Among those witnessing the signing ceremony were: Ambassador Paul Harker, Director, Bilateral Relations Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Michelle Walker, Head, Legal Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ariel Bowen, Assistant Director, Bilateral Relations Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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