Learn­ing lessons in nat­u­ral liv­ing in na­ture’s class­room

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - LIFE | TRAVEL - By YANG FEIYUE yangfeiyue@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Mu­se­ums. Tea gar­dens. Recre­ational-ve­hi­cle camp­sites.

And vil­las for those hop­ing for a more lux­u­ri­ous life on the road.

The Huaxia Baosheng Park is a green des­ti­na­tion in Jin­tan’s Maoshan Moun­tains, where eco­tourists learn lessons they take with them when they leave.

That is, per­haps, dev­as­tated bio­spheres, such as this swath of Jiangsu prov­ince, can be re­designed and re­vived rapidly.

Trees line the road to the des­ti­na­tion.

Dew­drops play percussion on the for­est floor when winds or vis­i­tors jos­tle bam­boo groves.

Shake. Shud­der. Pit­ter. Pat­ter. Tip. Tap. Ad in­fini­tum. It’s truly nat­u­ral beauty. At its purest.

Mist wafts from lakes, twist­ing over the land­scape to cre­ate a mys­ti­cal feel.

Huaxia Baosheng has evolved from a tim­ber­land into a leisure re­sort for na­ture lovers since it opened last year.

It’s a place where the whole point was to cut down trees that sud­denly trans­formed into a place where the point is pro­tect­ing them. A quick switch. One that rep­re­sents a chang­ing China.

The park’s man­age­ment “didn’t much in­ter­fere with the orig­i­nal land­scape”, says deputy di­rec­tor of mar­ket­ing, Zhou Kun.

One ma­jor re­con­fig­u­ra­tion has been the plant­ing of many leafy plants, in­clud­ing over 4,000 cam­phor trees.

“Nearly all flora are ev­er­green and con­vey spring­time in all sea­sons,” Zhou says.

A 20-hectare tea gar­den of­fers har­vest­ing ex­pe­ri­ences for vis­i­tors in March.

They can learn about the leaves’ mul­ti­ple di­men­sions, from the botan­i­cal to the cul­tural. They can wit­ness tea pro­cess­ing and sip a cup of the fi­nal prod­uct.

About 10,000 trav­el­ers vis­ited dur­ing the Na­tional Day holidays in the first week of Oc­to­ber, when the park opened, Zhou says.

Many ar­rive from Jiangsu’s Changzhou and the pro­vin­cial cap­i­tal, Nan­jing, Zhou says.

Most come in the spring and au­tumn and stay one night. Ho­tels are of­ten fully booked dur­ing holidays.

They hike and en­joy fresh air. They pe­ruse mu­se­ums ded­i­cated to na­ture, art, bon­sai and tea.

The na­ture mu­seum hosts over 4,000 items, in­clud­ing min­eral spec­i­mens and an­i­mal fos­sils.

Its Per­mian ichthyosaur swims mo­tion­lessly through 15 me­ters of rock. It’s re­port­edly one of China’s big­gest and best pre­served. The es­tab­lish­ment dis­plays three mam­moth skeletons and eight sets of di­nosaur re­mains.

About 500 pot­ted bon­sai be­long to over 100 species at the bon­sai mu­seum. The art mu­seum hosts repli­cas of 100 glob­ally ac­claimed oil paint­ings, and Chi­nese cal­lig­ra­phy, ink works and wood­carv­ings.

Its ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tu­tions are a nat­u­ral place to study — set in wood­land that is an in­sti­tu­tion in it­self in which to learn about na­ture.

YANG FEIYUE / CHINA DAILY

Huaxia Baosheng Park in Jin­tan, Jiangsu prov­ince, has de­vel­oped into a leisure re­sort for vis­i­tors to ex­pe­ri­ence na­ture since its open­ing last year.

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