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Seoul’s oldest amusement park to go greener

The first-ever amusement park in Seoul would be upgraded with eco-friendly rides as part of the city’s efforts to offer a wider range of entertainment opportunities for children, officials said Wednesday.

Seoul Metropolitan Government said it would replace the rides at Seoul Land in Seoul Grand Park with electricity-zero rides by 2020. The rides will be run by manpower with a minimal amount of electricity, allowing children to physically play like those in German theme park Ketteler Hof.

The amusement park will offer eight types of eco-playgrounds where children can interact with various things ranging from water and wood to animals.

This is part of the city’s project to renovate Seoul Grand Park. The park, which opened in 1984 in Gwacheon, south of Seoul, consists of the 820,000-square-meter-large Seoul Land, a 2.4 square-kilometer zoo and a small camping site for visitors. Seoul Land opened four years after the park, in 1988.

Along with the amusement park renovation, the zoo will be separated from Seoul Grand Park and integrated with the Seoul Children’s Park zoo in the east of the capital in the future, the city said.

A special zone for saving endangered species and native animals will be constructed in the zoo. As part of the efforts to boost animal welfare, the city will gradually stop exhibiting the animals in cages and push for quasi-natural habitats, it added.

To attract more visitors, the city will build a “forest for healing” in the 4-square-kilometer vacant area in Seoul Grand Park. Various walking routes, gardens and a meditation center will be feature at the site, officials said.

The city will also offer a private tour program for small groups of zoo visitors and provide accommodation facilities, they added.

By Lee Hyun-jeong (rene@heraldcorp.com)
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