Penghu government plants 'trees' on asphalt parking lot

In order to meet a green space requirement, Penghu government plants scraggly saplings to serve as 'green space'

Saplings planted in parking lot (Photo from Sheng I-che's Facebook page)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- On Tuesday, Just two days after Taiwan's observance of Arbor Day, Trees Party (樹黨) Chairman Sheng I-che (冼義哲) posted an image of tree saplings hastily planted on small mounds of dirt on an asphalt parking lot in front of a government building in Penghu.

The Penghu County government told UDN that the trees were planted to meet the requirements of the green law, and the trees have already been moved, and they are working with the Construction Management Department to devise alternative solutions. 

Sheng said that the placement of ten saplings on top of the asphalt bus parking lot next to the newly constructed transportation management building left him dumbfounded and unable to restrain himself and that "tree care education cannot be found."

Expressing his exasperation at the crude attempt at landscaping, Sheng said, "I have a limited IQ, I cannot fathom how this is creative." 

Netizens on the popular Taiwanese online forum PTT ridiculed the move:

"Reasonable tree planting is training, unreasonable tree planting hones the man."

"Are there no limits to ghost island? It's still collusion between businessmen and government officials that wins approval, but it is only now that is being exposed?"

"This is an installation of art, it's like a symbol of breaking through, struggling to grow."

"Did they bother to dig a hole or just put it on top?" to which someone answered, "Putting the dirt right on top of the asphalt means it will all wash away the next time it rains." 

Penghu County Government Chief of Staff Tsai Chi-hsien (蔡淇賢) that in order to gain approval from the Construction Management Department to build the new transportation management station, the structure must include a certain amount of green space, therefore we only placed a few trees temporarily to in order to facilitate the application process.

Tsai said that because there are a lot of vehicles coming and and out of the facility, it was necessary to pave the area, but to meet the green space requirements, the trees had to be planted, leading to this situation. However, the trees have been removed and they are working with the Construction Management Department to come up with alternative measures. 

Sheng criticized the government's move saying the green space provision means real green space, this action to obtain a license was illegal, going through the motions in this way showed contempt for the fundamental spirit of the legislation, and it may even constitute as fraud.