|International Garden Exposition Suncheon Bay Korea 2013 Preview|
International Garden Exposition Suncheon Bay Korea 2013 (Suncheon Bay Garden Expo 2013) is the first international environment and ecology event to be held in Korea. The expo begins its six-month run on April 20, 2013 at its venue of Suncheon Bay in Suncheon, Jeollanam-do Province. The expo’s theme is “Suncheon Bay, Garden of the Earth,” and it features 82 gardens from 23 countries at its main venues of the International Wetland Center and Arboretum Zone. Dongcheon Stream* is the scenic backdrop for the performance stage, which will host daily cultural events.
The expo is expected to draw a large number of tourists to its 11 world gardens and 60 participatory gardens, which were created by artists from Korea and abroad, businesses, and cities. Theme gardens will also highlight the significance of the Suncheon Bay Garden Expo.
A garden is a place where people can relax and interact with nature. Thus, the Suncheon Bay Garden Expo is an international event befitting the 21st century ideals in pursuit of the coexistence of humans and nature.
Expo admission tickets give access to all gardens and facilities inside the venue. Exploring the expo site in its entirety requires more than one day. To ensure ample time to visit other tourist sites in Suncheon, plan a three-day, two-night trip including travel time. Visitors that are short on time should take a map of the expo venue and plan which attractions are a priority during the visit.
* Dongcheon Stream: The stream runs through the heart of Suncheon and flows into Suncheon Bay.
Learn More About the Expo!
Kkuru and Kkumi Mascots
The international garden expo’s mascot is the hooded crane, also known as Natural Monument No. 228 and a major migratory bird of Suncheon Bay. The names Kkuru and Kkumi were given based on the calls of the hooded crane. The hooded crane has long been associated with longevity, fulfillment, luck, and love in Korea.
The official logo of the international garden expo is ECOGEO, which combines the words “ecosystem” and “geo (earth).” The logo was designed to express the expo’s promotion of coexistence between humans and nature and concern for the future of the earth.
Suncheonman (Suncheon Bay)
Suncheonman (Suncheon Bay) is a coastal wetland formed at the mouth of a river in the city of Suncheon. It is one of the world’s five major coastal wetlands. The bay features 22.60 million square meters of mudflats and 5.4 million square meters of reed fields. It offers a habitat for a variety of hydrophytes and amphibians. The wetland’s environment draws about 235 species of migratory birds every year. A repository of a diverse range of biological species, Suncheon Bay is ecologically valuable. As such, it was registered under the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands in 2006 for international protection. The bay area is by itself a garden that is a gift of nature, making it the perfect backdrop for the garden expo.
History of International Garden Expos
International garden expos originated in Europe about 150 years ago as a way of showcasing garden designs from around the world. The expo is an international event organized under the International Association of Horticultural Producers (AIPH) based in the Netherlands. Garden expos are classified into four categories based on scale and content: A1, B1, A2, or B2. The expo held in Suncheon is classified as an A1 event. It is significant in terms of its scale and as the first garden expo held in Korea certified by the AIPH.
* World-Renowned International Garden Expos
Take a Virtual Tour of the Expo Venue!
The main gate is the first point of contact for each visitor, and is an important element of a visitor’s first impression of the venue. The Suncheon Bay International Garden Expo 2013 strives to incorporate elements of nature into its gates in order to highlight nature throughout the venue from the moment visitors enter until the time that they leave. There are three gates at the venue: the West Gate of Light, the East Gate of Earth, and the South Gate of Dreams.
The Arboretum Zone features the Korean Traditional Garden, Tree Grounds, and Royal Azalea Garden. The Korean Traditional Garden, in particular, reflects the time-honored garden culture of Korea. It uses Changdeokgung Palace and Huwon, a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site, and Soswaewon Garden in Damyang as motifs.
Wetland Center Zone
The Suncheon Bay International Wetland Center is a place where visitors can learn more about and experience international coastal wetland Suncheon Bay and the Suncheon Bay International Garden Expo. The center includes the Green Theater, Eco City Hall, Eco Experience Hall, Wildlife Conservation Park, and Waterbirds’ Playground.
The center also houses the Suncheon Bay WWT Wetland and ECOGEO Greenhouse. The Wild Fowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT) is an international conservation organization dedicated to saving wetlands and wild birds. The WWT Wetland was built in consultation with this organization and features a variety of water plants and fowls. The ECOGEO Greenhouse is home to more than 250 species of plants.
World Garden Zone
The World Garden Zone is the focal point of the Suncheon Bay Garden Expo.Garden designers and installation artists from around the world took part in creating this unique garden. This zone is likely to be the most popular attraction for local and international media and tourists.
With about 98 percent of the construction completed as of the end of March, the World Garden Zone features gardens of 11 countries overseas, including Germany, the Netherlands, France, and China. The World Garden Zone also features 60 or so participatory gardens created by cities, businesses, and artists from Korea and abroad took part, and 11 theme gardens highlighting the significance of the Suncheon Bay Garden Expo. The participatory gardens were built by various groups or individuals with unique ideas. They are divided into indoor (26) and outdoor (34) spaces. The theme gardens include the hooded crane garden that highlights the symbol of the expo, the riverside open-air stage, wild greens garden, and Oriental Herbs Experience Center.
Additional must-see attractions are Dongcheon Stream running between the arboretum and the World Garden, as well as the Bridge of Dreams. The Bridge of Dreams is made out of recycled containers. Inside the bridge are about 140,000 paintings and written messages from children around the world. The bridge, which stands above Dongcheon Stream, conveys the spatial message of the garden, which dreams of coexistence between humans and nature.
Tip. Everything Was Designed With an Eco-friendly Mindset!
Trees in crisis replanted along gardens and walking trails
Take a look at the stones!
From earthworms, an eco-friendly manure
Bridge of Dreams’ recycled containers
Photo courtesy of Suncheon Bay Garden Expo 2013 Organizing Committee