CUHK Launches Campus Tree Exhibition and First-ever Database of 3D Interactive Campus Tree Map
The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) held an opening ceremony today (5 October) for ‘The Science and Art of Trees of CUHK Exhibition and Green Education Fortnight’. Officiating at the ceremony were the Honourable Edward Yau Tang-wah, Secretary for the Environment, HKSAR Government; Prof. Joseph J.Y. Sung, Vice-Chancellor, CUHK; Ms. Alison Ho, Senior Corporate Responsibility Manager, Hang Seng Bank; Prof. Fung Tung, Associate Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Chairman of the Campus Landscaping Enhancement Committee, CUHK; Dr. Hu Shiu-ying, world-renowned botanist and Honorary Professor of Chinese Medicine, CUHK; and Prof. Chu Lee-man, Chairman of the Committee on Campus Environment, CUHK.
The exhibition shows the beauty of trees at CUHK from the perspectives of science and art, with an aim to encouraging environmental protection. Apart from exhibiting photos of trees on campus, the first-ever 3D interactive map with comprehensive information on campus trees is also shown. Among other exhibits, there is an online database containing descriptions, photos and videos of campus trees. In addition, a series of green activities will take place in the coming fortnight to further promote green education, including tree talks and guided tree walks for CUHK and secondary school students, tree care workshops conducted by experts, as well as a campus tree photo competition.
Prof. Joseph J.Y. Sung commended the project team for its tree preservation efforts, such as in taking more than 10,000 photos of campus trees as they appear in different seasons and constructing six online campus tree maps. ‘Around 80% of the 137-hectare CUHK campus is covered with vegetation. This includes 192 species of trees, making CUHK the largest tree habitat among all university campuses in Hong Kong. As home to over a third of all tree species in the territory, the campus is a true epitome of Hong Kong’s green life.’
The Honourable Edward Yau said, ‘Behavioural changes in our everyday life like avoiding food wastage, practising recycling, supporting greening and conserving water and energy etc. are small steps that, taken together, will bring significant changes. Only community-wide participation and adoption of a low-carbon lifestyle can further protect our natural environment.’
CU Tree Project Bears Fruit
Initiated by Dr. Hu Shiu-ying and her student Mr. George Jor, the three-year CU Tree Project aims to preserve campus trees, to raise eco-awareness among CUHK staff and students, and to encourage green living. Since it was launched in July 2008 with generous support from the Hang Seng Bank’s ‘Green Bank’ campaign, various interactive tree resources were developed to enrich local tree profiles. Different types of tree education activities were also organized, which involved over 1,600 CUHK staff, students and members of the public.
‘Under the “Hang Seng－Green Bank” Project launched in 2008 for local tertiary education institutions, Hang Seng Bank is encouraged to see that various successful programmes have been organized to cultivate a greener campus and to enhance students’ awareness of the importance of protecting the environment. The endeavours of CUHK in encouraging its staff and students to take part in tree conservation for protection of its unique natural environment is highly admirable,’remarked Ms. Alison Ho, Senior Corporate Responsibility Manager of Hang Seng Bank.
Details of the CUHK Tree Project are as follows:
– The locations of close to 200 species of campus trees are indicated on newly-developed tree maps. By clicking on each tree icon, detailed information about that particular species will be shown. Photographs and audio descriptions of flowers on campus are also updated, making it a piece of comprehensive interactive teaching material for green education in Hong Kong. In addition, these photos and audio resources are uploaded to YouTube and iTunes to facilitate dissemination of knowledge among youngsters.
– The CU Tree Trail, a walking route designed for visitors to observe trees on campus, is plotted with a 3D interactive map, and audio descriptions of the trees along the route are also available.
– The CUHK tree database, a user-friendly search engine, was developed for searching information on trees and other plants on campus.
– A tree catalogue system was developed to enhance public understanding of trees. Labels detailing tree names and species were tagged to trees with the help of CUHK staff and students. The label also contains a QR code so mobile phone users can have easy access to the tree database.
– A total of 15 tree talks and guided tree walks conducted by tree experts were held for the benefit of CUHK staff, students and alumni.
– The project also encourages participation in a variety of activities to promote green living in the community, such as the Walking for Health Campaign.
All online resources are available to the public on the CU Tree Project website (http://www2.cuhk.edu.hk/greeneducation/?tabid=63). Members of the public are also welcome to visit ‘The Science and Art of Trees of CUHK Exhibition’. Admission is free. Details are listed as follows:
Date : Until 15 October
Venue :Foyer, Sir Run Run Shaw Hall, CUHK, Shatin.
Opening hours : Mon-Sat: 9:00 am-6:00 pm (closed Sunday and public holidays)