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First Forest Park in City Proper Reopens in NE China
Heilongjiang Forest Arboretum, the only forest park situated within a city proper of China, reopened Sunday after a year-long renovation.

Reputed as a "Natural Oxygen Bar", the park in the city proper of Harbin is the country's most typical botanical garden for plants living in the temperate and frigid zones.

Over 1,200 kinds of plants including 15 rare species under state protection can be found in the garden covering 136 hectares.

In 2002, some 30 million yuan (US$about 3.61 million) was channeled into the garden's reconstruction by the province's forestry department to improve its ecology and infrastructure facilities.

The renovated arboretum now comprises an artificial lake of 20,000 square meters and 12 special gardens which not only reduce the city's noise but also raise air humidity.

Li Changhai, general engineer and designer of the arboretum, said the garden has become a major research center for plant protection cooperation between China and many other countries such as the Republic of Korea, the United States, Canada, Finland and Germany.

(People's Daily June 2, 2003)

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