Located at Taiwan New Taipei City between Linkou and Taishan, there is a beautifully built hiking trail called Xinlin hiking trail. It is built by a group of volunteers who love to hike. They get recycled resources from the community to built this route by their own.
Xinlin hiking trail – the product of volunteers’ efforts
Su is one of the volunteer. He likes to hike for relaxation. He witnessed the trail being forgotten. Therefore he led a group of volunteers from the hiking club to fix the route.
The process of renovation is not easy. The lack of capital is their major obstacle. Therefore he thought of using abondoned tiles to lay the route and covered some parts with used carpet taken from World Trade Centre to prevent hikers from slippery floor. Lighting system also faced difficulties. With only few workers, they cannot set up light poles by getting electricity from the town through wires. Therefore they made lights powered by solar power. This allows illumination to the route. They used 3 years to do the whole renovation project.
It is already 7 years after the finishing of renovation. Su still do regular maintenance to the hiking trail. He even goes to Hualian and Taidong regularly to learn knowledge from profession environmentalists.
It is always easier to said than do – the wish of corporation between citizens
Engaged in environmental protection for more than 10 years, he compares the enthusiasm of volunteers with the low support from the government. The hiking trail is divided into 5 parts with different characteristics and special names for each part. For example on the steep slope, there are notices showing support to the hikers along the way. In the ‘volunteer bridge’, named after the group of volunteers that cooperate to build the bridge, there is a slogan showing the wish from the volunteers. In the ‘carpet road’, besides prevention from slippery, hikers can try to walk on carpet in the woods. The hiking trail links two parks. Historic and old facilities from the park such as stone table and chairs can still be seen.
It has been over 7 years after the renovation of the trail. The function of preventing slippery of carpet began to lose and the facilities began to be damaged. Therefore, volunteers actively sought help from the government to improve the trail and keep maintenance. In May 2013, the government even cooperate with the volunteers to fix another route in Linkou, the Laogongqi hiking trail.
Besides, Su hopes to raise people awareness and attitude to environmental protection. Though most people know it is important to protect the woods, still, lots of rubbish can be seen along the trail.
From about 10 volunteers to start this project to about 100 volunteers now, more hikers witnessed the efforts made by Su. The government participation make the road to environmental protection goes smoother.