SEOUL, The Seoul metropolitan government said Tuesday it will open to the public the country’s first botanical park this week after about six months of its pilot operation.

The Seoul Botanic Park in the South Korean capital’s Gangseo Ward, which has been tentatively accessible since Oct. 11, is set to open Wednesday. During the pilot operation, 2.5 million people visited the park built on a site of 504,000 square meters.

Out of the entire space, the botanical garden accounts for 21 percent, with 3,100 species of plants growing.

The botanical park has four areas comprising a botanical garden with a greenhouse, small forests, a lake and a wetland. Out of the four areas, the wetland will be opened for the first time and visitors can reach the Han River through an overpass over the wetland.

Adults, youths and children visiting the botanical garden are charged entrance fees of 5,000 won (US$4.31), 3,000 won and 2,000 won, respectively, for the botanical garden.

The botanical garden is open from 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., while the other three areas are accessible 24 hours a day with no admission fees charged.

In the garden are an outdoor garden for plants indigenous to the Korean Peninsula and the greenhouse, where plants from 12 cities worldwide are displayed.

The indoor garden, which has a space of 7,999 square meters and 500 rare plants, including banyan trees and pipals, is shaped like a dish, with a diameter of 100 meters and a height of up to 28 meters.

The Seoul Botanic Park aims to collect up to 8,000 plant species by 2028.

Lee Won-young, head of the botanical garden, said in a statement, “We hope we will develop the park into a world-renowned botanical park that citizens can take pride in and elevate the global status of Seoul, just like the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, in southwest London and the Singapore Botanic Gardens.”

Visit botanicpark.seoul.go.kr for more information.

Source: Yonhap news Agency