I. General Introduction

Suzhou Taihu Lakeside National Wetland Park is located in (northern latitude 31 ° 12'50.4 "-31 ° 13'18.5", east longitude 120 ° 21'57.6 "- 120 ° 26'25.4 ") Taihu National Tourism Resort, Suzhou and on the east coast of Taihu Lake. From east to west, it extends eight kilometers, with a total area of 360 hectares. It is a typical lakeside wetland, is mainly composed of shallow lake, lakeside zone and lakeshore forest land.


II. Feature Introduction

1. Nature Education Hall

Nature Education Hall is located in the transition zone between the land and water body; the surrounding water and land interactively extends in a vast area, with diverse biotypes and rich habitats. Nature Education Hall is a complete and systematic popular science hall of the lakeside wetland park, The education here combines the outdoor environments and indoor activity space, integratedly showing Taihu Lake wetlands, popularizes scientific knowledge; and highlights of rich contents of wetland amusement and interaction.


Nature Education Hall boasts many kinds of books about wetland science and information of Asia wetlands, and the hall is divided into display boards, animal and plant specimens, propaganda movie, bird watching and services areas; it is also equipped with various facilities, such as screen, TV set, telescope, microscope, etc., which presents a strong qualification to popularize wetland science, and is also an important place for the public and school students to receive wetland science knowledge.


2. Animal & Plant Science Gallery

Taking advantage of lakeshore and wetland and combining the tourist experiences in terms of visual, auditory, sensory feelings, Suzhou Taihu Lakeside National Wetland Park has created an Animal & Plant Science Gallery with various functions, such as science education, wetland research, eco-tourism, etc. There are two galleries and 80 signboards are set in the galleries, all signboards take using of 2D code for visitors to get more information from professional website, at the same time, to prevent the environment from the visual pollution caused by signboards of over amount or over size.


3. Pilot Lakeside Wetland Restoration

The construction of Suzhou Taihu Lakeside National Wetland Park aims to improve and protect ecological environment, and significant results has been witnessed in the design, construction, execution and post-maintenance. The park has become a model for wetland parks in different places, especially for construction of lakeside wetland park.


In terms of landscape design, Suzhou Taihu Lakeside National Wetland Park is designed in accordance with the original shape of natural system and distribution pattern of biological system. In the design, the original shoreline’s natural curved shape is reserved; a certain amount of heterogeneous space with porous bottom is designed according to practical needs, in order to create diversity of water flow for benefit of biodiversity development. The park follows the original shoreline, and in implementation of lake dredging project, a large of local bulldozers of 50 to 200 meters along the shore of Taihu Lake is used, forming a patchwork of up and down terrain; and following the terrain, retractable view in the wetland area is achieved as far as possible, which establishes the gradient ecotype allocation of wet plants - emergent plants - floating-leaved plants - submerged plants - floating plants, which conforms to aesthetic rules of unity, concord, and natural balance.


In terms of water edge space design, various methods, such as natural rock revetment, timber pile shore protection and aquatic plants revetment, are used to build a natural transition area of water and shore; and wetland plants have been cultivated in suitable places, which aims to promote the filtration and penetration effects of the wetland on the natural environment and to create the originally wild charm of the wetland.


4. on Water Quality Protection

As near to two Suzhou municipal drinking water sources, i.e. Taihu Lake Temple water intake and Yuyang Hill water intake areas, in order to protect water quality and safety, and to reduce the impact of human activities on water quality, Suzhou Taihu Lakeside National Wetland Park takes lots of engineering,  for example, completily cleaning the large-scale pig farms within 1 km area along Taihu Lake in 2009; a contiguous remediation of unified sewage treatment in all reserved villages within Taihu Lake resort area; in this later project, all sewage collected through pipes from production and life sites were allowed for discharge only after meeting corresponding water standards after treatment in sewage plant, from 2008 to 2012. The park manager has also taken a series of measures to sustain the water quality. Firstly, tree, shrub and grass and aquatic plants are planted along the water bank, especially, the emerged plants such as reed, Lythrum, Zizania aquatica, acorus calamus, etc. are planted in bank nearby water area, the plants can absorb nutrient-rich substances from water and  significantly reduce TOC, TN, TP of the waterbody; secondly, complex wetland vegetation system of the lake shoreline was rebuilt, which can adjust the water flow speed and make toxic impurities flowing through the wetland by water solid suspendsprecipitation to purify water quality; thirdly, through artificial efforts, a set of environmental conditions were created to gradually repair the damaged water habitat structures, to establish aquatic plant communities suitable for water features, to effectively reduce the concentration of suspended sediment, to increase water transparency and dissolved oxygen, and to activate aquatic organisms food web (chain), so as to provide a good inhabiting environment for all the organisms and improve the biodiversity of aquatic ecosystem; fourthly, a water quality monitoring station was established in each tributary junction site to report the water quality periodically, and through building water gate at the site where the river running into the lake, river with poor quality running into Taihu Lake can be controlled; fifthly and finally, periodic harvesting and removing the dead plants and rotten leaves of aquatic plants have been conducted. As some aquatic plant’s life cycle is relatively short, later failure and decay of plants are easy to cause secondary pollution of water body, therefore, regular and proper plants harvesting and removing stems, leaves out of the water, which can effectively reduce nitrogen and phosphorus emissions, and help the formation of healthy water body.


With above measures, lakeside wetland has been an effective barrier for pollution flowing into Taihu Lake. At present, water quality of Taihu Lakeside National Wetland Park and its surrounding water quality is 1-2 degree higher than that of other lake regions, maintains standard of Class water or above for a long term, and it has been a model for lakeside water environment protection and governance.


Suzhou Taihu Lakeside National Wetland Park has taken a series of measures in the cultivation and management of reeds. Emphasis has been put on research over choosing reed transplanting season, reasonable planting density, moisture management during growth period, pest prevention and control and reed harvesting time, harvesting stubble height, etc. to accelerate reed vegetation recovery.


Crossing harvesting for aquatic plants has been on trial and technological research has been done, which aims to remove withered aquatic plants out from the lake waterbody in time as soon as possible, so as to reduce the potential pollution to Taihu Lake or paludification of wetland caused by decay of aquatic plants in Taihu Lake, and ensure that wild animals will not lose their habitat because of harvesting of aquatic plants, which is beneficial for inhabiting, breeding and protection of wild animals.


5. Significant Increase of Birds

According to bird expert’s observation for many years continuously, lts of birds were recorded. In 2015, bird observed in Taihu Lakesiede National Wetland Park reached to 147 species, which increased by 15 species from that of 2013, especially for little swan. In February 2014, for the first time, seven little swans were seen around Taihu Lakeside National Wetland Park; in February 2016, over 50 little swans were seen to spend the Spring Festival around the park, staying for over 25 days.


III. Expedition Route

Visitor Center - Plaza in front of the park - Woodland into the park – Wood Trestle - Plant Gallery - Nature Education Hall - Leisure Twin Pavilion - No. 7 Pier - on Battery Ship - Ecological Floating Island - Taihu Lake Water Quality - outside Water Windmill - No. 1 Pier.


IV. Suggestions on Expedition

1. Please wear shoes appropriate for walking;

2. Telescope and camera may be brought with you to enjoy the beautiful scenery;

3. Please bring a sunhat and sunscreen;

4. Mineral water for drinking will be provided along the way.