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Mayor Attends Neihu 2020 Lohas Cherry Blossom Festival

Mayor at the Neihu LOHAS Cherry Blossom Festival opening event Taipei City Mayor Ko Wen-Je attended the 2020 Lohas Cherry Blossom Festival on the evening of February 2. He indicated that as the event approaches its 3rd year running, the number of cherry blossom visitors is increasing every year. Initially, the government stepped in to lend a helping hand after witnessing the public’s endeavors, and when the region received the necessary encouragement, people also stepped up their efforts in cultivating better and more beautiful cherry blossoms, in turn forming a positive cycle and the best example of public-private partnership (PPP).

According to Ko, after Chinese New Year’s Eve, the cherry blossom is abloom in Neihu District’s Lohas Park for approximately a month. The blooming Taiwan cherry blossom, Yaezakura cherry blossom, and Japan cherry blossom in the park are attributed to the efforts of local sub-district chiefs and Neigou River Greenification and Beautification Association, as well as a group of volunteers who started planting cherry blossoms numerous years ago.

One day, when he came to the park and saw such beautiful cherry blossoms, he instructed the Parks and Street Lights Office (PSLO) to install lights. To his surprise, the park attracted 150,000 visitors in the first year, and data revealed that nearly 210,000 people came to the cherry blossoms last year (2nd year).

Ko mentioned that, as a matter of fact, only a little bit of assistance is needed from the government, while the cultivation, upkeep, and maintenance of the flowers require the input of the community. He believes that PPP is a great example, therefore when the government was deliberating whether to set aside the NT$600 million budget to maintain the park, many discussions were held internally in the city hall due to the considerable amount of money involved. He also feels that if community residents are willing to try, they should be encouraged, and that is why he decided to allocate the NT$600 million.

The mayor emphasized that with the community’s efforts and the government’s support, the local community will be encouraged to plant better and more beautiful cherry blossoms, thus forming a positive cycle that is also a very good example of PPP in Taipei City. However, he also smiled and said that people are here to admire cherry blossoms and not listen to his speech, so he quickly extended his invitation to everyone to appreciate the stunning cherry blossoms.