Camping craze damages grounds at Shanghai's parks
Shanghai's greenery authorities are considering measures such as controlling the number of campers in allocated areas to tackle the aftermath resulting from the spring camping craze at parks, a radio program heard on Thursday.
A camping frenzy is causing management woes at many parks in Shanghai.
On sunny weekends, the lawns at some parks are completely occupied by tents, and some areas of the lawns are already bare.
The city has 53 parks that allow visitors pitch tents, according to the Shanghai Greenery and Public Sanitation Bureau.
"The surge of campers triggered a lot of problems," said Deng Jianping, director of the bureau. "The lawns withered due to overuse, leading to maintenance woes.
"Moreover, some tourists did not obey regulations and brought portable gas stoves into parks.
"The ropes used to fix the tents exposed potential safety hazards as children and seniors stumbled over them, and a lot of trash was left on the ground after the campers left, leading to extra cleaning work," Deng added.
Deng said measures would be taken as a result.
"Parks will be ordered to properly designate areas for campers and control the number of campers on each piece of lawn," said Deng.
"Meanwhile, campers will be banned from setting up tents at activity venues and passages inside parks."
Due to the pleasant spring weather, the Gongqing Forest Park in Yangpu District, a popular camping site in the city, had experienced between 50,000 and 60,000 visitors per day during the weekends.
The park operator said that good camping spaces were fully secured in the morning and that some parts of the lawns were bare due to being trampled.
The same problem was also seen at Century Park, where visitors set up their tents under plum blossom trees.
According to a city greenery guideline, historical parks, sculpture parks, pocket parks, and those with limited space were advised not to allocate areas for camping activities.
Shanghai would have 10 new parks on the Outer Ring Road belt by the end of this year.
Huajing Park in Xuhui District and Minhang Chunshen Park in Minhang District are two of those on the list.
Construction of another nine parks on the ring road would start this year.
Meanwhile, about 3,000 mu (200 hectares) of forests will be created in each of Shanghai's five "new cities."