Baita Lake National Wetland Park
Baita Lake National Wetland Park [Photo provided to enshaoxing.com]
Surrounded by mountains, Baita Lake is like a pearl inlaid in the northeast of Zhuji in Shaoxing, East China's Zhejiang province. Baita Lake National Wetland Park connects Hangzhou Xiaoshan district in the north and Shaoxing Yuecheng district in the east. It is one of the relatively well-preserved wetlands in the Qiantang River basin.
From the late 1980s to the late 1990s, the hardware, pearls and light textiles industries flourished around Baita Lake. With the extensive development of the economy, the area paid a huge environmental price, with shrinking wetlands and deteriorating water quality.
After years of hard work, the natural scenery has been restored. Today, Baita Lake has become a national wetland park integrating natural, agricultural and cultural wetlands and attracting over 100,000 visitors a year.
The passenger flow brought by the wetland also enabled the villages around the lake to come back to life. Villagers who had been living there for generations have found new ways to earn good incomes by opening agritainment farmyards, selling dried fish and participating in wetland project contracting.
Wang Qihua, the owner of an agritainment farmyard near Baita Lake, was one of the first villagers to ride the waves of change. His farmyard, which features local aquatic products, attracts numerous regular visitors. "Thanks to Baita Lake, our people have more to look forward to than ever," Wang said.
At present, people's lives around the lake are not much different to the lives of city dwellers. According to local media, Baita Lake National Wetland Park will also introduce more supporting facilities for tourists. It is expected that with the further improvement of the ecological environment, locals will share more ecological dividends.