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Roots below, fruit above: Three generations exploring the South Penghu Marine National Park

On the 4th and 5th of August (Saturday and Sunday) the Marine National Park Headquarters organized the "Three generations exploring the South Penghu Marine National Park" event, arranging for three generations of three families a visit to the National Park on Penghu's southern islands, places accessible only by boat.

The oldest participant of this three-generation family event was 87 years old, while the youngest was only 6. Taking age and ability differences into account, the park arranged for two volunteer workers to accompany the families on their trip, in order to assist the older generation participants in getting on and off the boat and to deal with any problems that might arise.

 

An additional complicating factor was the climate on Dongji Island, which frequently reaches scorching temperatures between 10am and 3pm, making outdoor activities unsuitable for elderly visitors to the park during this time. For this reason, park staff paid particular attention to participants during this time, reminding them to keep drinking water and arranging places for the guests to rest in the traditional settlements on the island.

海管處為高齡長輩及年幼孩童著想, 貼心安排志工協助上下船 (海洋國家公園管理處提供)
Taking age and ability differences into account,
the park arranged for two volunteer workers to
accompany the families on their trip, in order to assist the
older generation participants in getting on and off the
boat and to deal with any problems that might arise.

 

An additional complicating factor was the climate on Dongji Island, which frequently reaches scorching temperatures between 10am and 3pm, making outdoor activities unsuitable for elderly visitors to the park during this time. For this reason, park staff paid particular attention to participants during this time, reminding them to keep drinking water and arranging places for the guests to rest in the traditional settlements on the island.

Every year from April to September is the park’s busy season, receiving approximately 20,000-30,000 visitors. However, the garbage created by such large numbers of tourists poses a problem for the islands' 20 or so residents.

As a result, the Public Relations Department of the Marine National Park and the Wang-An Township Office have continued to encourage tourists to reduce waste and take their garbage away with them to dispose of upon their return home. A visit to the island's garbage dump was arranged, with the hope that it would allow guests to understand the depth of the island's garbage problem. In its place, guests were given a talk about the environmental problems that the island faces due to tourism through which visitors were able to better understand the stress placed on the island by the garbage problem and were shown the urgency of reducing our waste production and plastic usage.

學員參觀東吉島垃圾場, 深刻體會垃圾減量、減塑的迫切性  (海洋國家公園管理處提供)
A visit to the island's garbage dump was arranged,
with the hope that it would allow guests to understand
the depth of the island's garbage problem.
學員進行海廢垃圾改造DIY  (海洋國家公園管理處提供)
Participants were making sea garbages to flower pots

During the event, meals consisted of locally-sourced produce, giving visitors a taste of the local diet and allowing them to experience the unique cooking styles of the local islanders. Participants were also taught about local farming and fishing methods, giving them a well-rounded education in the local food culture.

 

學員體驗在地農產特色—醃製酸瓜  (海洋國家公園管理處提供)
Participants were also taught about
local farming and fishing methods
學員以在地小農食材分組烹飪 組成創意的「大地分享餐桌」  (海洋國家公園管理處提供)
Participants were dicided into geoups
to cook creative dinner with local foods

In cooperation with the Kaohsiung City Council Social Affairs Bureau and the Kaohsiung Elderly Care Association, the Marine National Park was able to better understand each of the participating families and to plan a more suitable, interesting, and fulfilling trip—all the better to demonstrate the unique beauty and value of the National Park.

The event concluded on August 5th. Workers at the National Park were thrilled to see that the guests had already taken steps to limit their impact on the environment by bringing along their own utensils and water flasks in order to avoid creating unnecessary waste. At the "Mother Earth's Dining Table" event, elderly family members instructed the children on how to recognize and cook local produce. They also reminded the children to cherish the food on their plates and to clean up after themselves. Witnessing such warmth and consideration on display from the park guests gave this trip an extra layer of significance, and made this year's event one to remember.

在晚霞餘暉中進行 「大地分享餐桌」的美味晚餐  (海洋國家公園管理處提供)
Participants enjoy "Mother Earth's Dining Table"
during the sunset

 

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