(College at the grassroots level in the New Year) Jiangsu Funing “turning sand into gold”: Sand mines turn into scenic spots and thousands of birds fly around the lake
Chinanews.com, Yancheng, January 15th, title: Funing, Jiangsu “turn sand into gold”: sand mines turn into scenic spots, thousands of birds fly around the lake
Author Gu Hua Gu Mingshai
Jinsha Lake in winter is not silent. On the clear water, flocks of waterfowl fly by from time to time. In the jungle of the small island in the lake, the sika deer are already familiar with these flopping “neighbors”, living in harmony and leisurely with each other.
Jinsha Lake is a natural and artificial urban wetland river and lake located in the south of Funing City, Jiangsu Province. Local resident Shi Zhirong, 65, knows the “past and present” of Jinsha Lake very well. He said that the story of Jinsha Lake can be told for several days from the stretch of sandy hills to the abandoned sand pond, and then to the current clear water.
According to the “Funing County Chronicles”, about 7,000 years ago, this area was a part of the Great Shallow Bay. Since then, it has undergone several changes from vicissitudes of life, and gradually formed an offshore sand embankment running from northwest to southeast. Also known as Shagang.
Aerial photography of Jinsha Lake. (Data map) Photo courtesy of Jinsha Lake Management Committee of Funing County
Although the thick sandy soil is not conducive to the growth of grains such as rice, it is very suitable for planting some economic crops and fruit trees. “In the past, every family in the village planted peanuts and pear trees on the sandy soil, and even used fragrant pears to set up a winery. Peanuts with red skin, small grains and attractive aroma are very popular, and they are named ‘Xiaoxiangyu’ variety.” Local villager Sun Yongfu recalled.
In the 1970s, people found that the yellow sand here is pure and uniform, which is an ideal material for industrial casting and construction industries, so they turned their attention to making money on sand. In 1970, Funing County established a sand mining enterprise – Shizhuang Sand Mine, which specializes in yellow sand mining. “Selling sand made money quickly. At that time, the village was full of well-known wealthy households, and their living conditions were very good.” Sun Yongfu said, “Peanuts are fragrant and pears are sweet, and yellow sand is easy to sell.” People are proud of it.
Jinsha Lake scenery. (Data map) Photo courtesy of Jinsha Lake Management Committee of Funing County
After more than 40 years of sand mining and selling, nearly a hundred abandoned sand ponds of different sizes have been formed here, with the large ones covering more than 200 mu and the small ones covering more than 10 mu. The dotted sand ponds cause inconvenient transportation, and the wind and sand are raging, which has become a bottleneck restricting local economic and social development.
The person in charge of the Jinsha Lake Management Committee of Funing County introduced that after 2009, the local government adjusted its development thinking, invited domestic and foreign experts to “consult and check the pulse”, invested huge sums of money to renovate the old sand mine site, attracted water from the Sheyang River, and activated the main lake area of 10,000 mu Joint construction and ecological restoration of the lake surface, large-scale lake type consolidation and ecological restoration, and clever use of sand, water ecological resources and local cultural landscapes to create a beautiful scenery of clear water and golden sands.
Tourists play at Jinsha Lake Beach Bathing Beach. (Data map) Photo courtesy of Jinsha Lake Management Committee of Funing County
The water area of Jinsha Lake is 10,035 mu, the average depth of the lake is 4.5 meters, and the water quality of the lake reaches the national second-class fresh water standard for direct drinking. In winter, the surrounding trees are withered, and the lake looks extraordinarily open. Taking a sightseeing boat on the lake, you can see thousands of various water birds either looking for food and flying on the water surface, or perching in the reed forest. There are many islands in the lake. One of the small islands is overgrown with trees. From a distance, you can see some white dots on the branches. When you walk closer, you find that the trees are full of egrets.
“There are so many birds on this island, we just call it ‘Bird Island’.” Zhang Yaya, head of Funing Bishuiyuan Tourism Project Management Co., Ltd., introduced that there are white swans, turtledoves, pheasants, golden pheasants, and thrushes in the Jinsha Lake area. There are more than 60 kinds of birds such as , egret, gray crane, mandarin duck, wild duck and lark, many of which are national protected animals.
Tourists experience ice and snow sports. (Data map) Photo courtesy of Jinsha Lake Management Committee of Funing County
Zhang Yaya said that local shrubs and grasses such as reeds and sweet-scented clover are planted on the island to maintain a high degree of vegetation coverage, and submerged plants such as thorny grass, sunflower seedlings, castor-toothed eyelets, and Hydrilla verticillium are planted underwater to provide Waterfowl such as egrets, geese and ducks provide suitable habitats. The beaches and swamps around the island and its surroundings can provide foraging places for many kinds of birds. The vegetation provides shelter for wetland birds such as little grebes and reed warblers. The trees and shrubs on the islands provide ideal habitats for large egrets. Nesting ground.
In recent years, Jinsha Lake has insisted on systematically planning the collaborative management and protection of lake water, lake islands, lake shores, and lake biodiversity, focusing on the implementation of projects such as comprehensive improvement of the lake type of 10,000 mu, ecological oxygen bar of 1,000 mu, greening of roads around the lake, and restoration of vegetation along the lake. A total of more than 1.1 million trees of various types have been planted, 400 hectares of green space have been newly added, and 10 hectares of reed wetlands have been restored, with a vegetation coverage rate of over 80%. Today, it has become a national-level water conservancy scenic spot and a national 4A-level eco-tourism scenic spot integrating the five functions of tourism and vacation, leisure sightseeing, ecological experience, mass sports, and exquisite livability.
Shi Zhirong said that the era of “relying on sand to eat sand” is gone forever. Now Damei Jinsha Lake allows villagers along the lake to eat “tourism meals”. Villagers have joined the scenic spot greening service team and equipment maintenance team, etc. Decent jobs in picturesque places, which in turn becomes something locals can be proud of. “We have changed the wording of ‘Huangsha Ballad’, now it is: the scenic spot is beautiful, tourists are here, and tourism can also generate income!” (End)