Keep off the Grass in Hong Kong parks

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    Went to the Zoological and Botanical Gardens, above Central, today. Again wondered at having manicured lawns, with Keep off the Grass signs – so ok for kids and others to play on concrete, but not on grass.



    The old battle between greenskeepers and users.
    I suppose it comes down to how small a patch, how much it’s used, and how curmudgeonly the gardener is. I think I could probably write an equation to track the occurance of these signs.
    Refeshingly in Yuen Long there is an excellent park, well used and well maintained with an actual aviary you can walk through. And most importantly the manicured rolling lawns are covered in families all week long.
    I got the shock of my life when a friend took his kid’s to it in the afternoon (I had come round for a BBQ). I just couldn’t believe it was HK.


    I emailed the Leisure the Cultural Services Dept re the keep off the grass signs
    Just been phoned by a lady who’s [deputy manager] of the ZBG.]
    She told me the grass in the ZBG is an ornamental kind, fairly readily damaged by people working on it. Plus, they’re working on new flowerbeds.
    May later open grassy areas, so people can take photos of flowers; and in future will consider my suggestion to allow people on grass.
    I said that not too high intensity use would seem fine to me; and I reckon people could stand seeing some damage – lawns don’t have to be like fine paintings.

    The dep manager also mentioned Victoria Park, where have grassy areas people can use; different grass type (as Yuen Long park I figure).


    David Biddlecombe has become so cheesed off by the various regulations restricting fun in public parks, he has started a blog to encourage discussion; and takes his "Freedom Ball" to parks, to see how people respond.

    His blog starts:

    Freedom Ball questions whether the Hong Kong government controls the use of public space for the benefit of Hong Kong people.

    We do this through simple and striking interventions in public spaces which encourage the public to engage directly with activities which are currently banned in the space.

    The principles of our interventions are that they challenge the rules in a way that is positive and engaging and encourage the public to join in actively.

    Our aim is to change the way that public spaces are managed, designed and controlled so that they meet the needs of Hong Kong people.

    自由波向政府質疑: 政府控制公共空間的使用是否有利於公眾利益。


    這些行動的宗旨就是: 大家用正面而又有趣的形式鼓勵公眾積極投入這類活動,挑戰僵化規條。

    我們的目的在於改變公共空間的設計和管理模式, 最終能符合香港市民的需要。

    Freedom Ball

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