The LCSD manages more than 1 350 parks and gardens of various sizes,
including 22 major parks.
The Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens, the oldest public gardens
in Hong Kong, occupy a total area of 5.4 hectares that overlooks Central.
The gardens were established between 1861 and 1871. Divided by Albany
Road, the eastern garden houses an extensive bird collection while the
western garden, opened in 1871, is home to mammal and reptile exhibits.
The botanical section is mainly in the eastern garden.
Despite the urban environment, the gardens provide
a viable conservation centre for endangered species, and in 2003 accommodated
17 endangered species of mammals, birds and reptiles. The bird collection
is one of the most comprehensive in Asia, with over 500 birds of 177 species.
Fifteen of these species have reared offspring. The mammal collection,
which specialises in primates, has 63 animals representing 20 species.
More than 750 species of trees, shrubs, creepers and foliage plants thrive
in the gardens. The medicinal plant collection established in 1987 and
a new greenhouse built in 1993 have generated particular interest. These
facilities contain about 500 species of herbs, orchids, ferns and indoor
plants. There are continuing programmes for upgrading the animal enclosures
and facilities in the gardens.
Opened in 1991, the Hong Kong Park is situated on the site of a former
military barracks in Central covering an area of about eight hectares.
With the blending of modern design into the natural landscape as its main
characteristic, the park also features flowing water, which is the thematic
motif. Artificial waterfalls, streams and ponds adorn the park, integrating
the varying scenery into a harmonious combination.
Major facilities in the park include an aviary, conservatory,
vantage point, garden plaza, squash centre, sports centre, children's
playground and a restaurant. The aviary is designed to imitate a tropical
rain forest environment in which over 700 birds of 100 different species
are kept. The conservatory comprises three parts: Humid Plant House, Dry
Plant House and Display Plant House. Adjustable environmental control
equipment is installed in these houses to simulate climatic conditions
in areas such as tropical rain forests and deserts. The vantage point
is a 30-metre tower from which visitors can have a panoramic view of the
park and the surrounding area.
Apart from enjoying the passive recreation facilities
of the park, visitors can also use the facilities in the sports centre
and the squash centre.