Published January 7, 2011
This article is from a student at Tenzer Learning Center in New York, NY. Tenzer participated in a series of visits with Pulitzer Center journalists leading up the High School News Literacy Summit at Baruch College in Manhattan.
When I was a child, my grandparents always took care of me. Because my parents needed to work, they sent me to my grandparents' home and took me back at night. My grandpa took me to the Honghu Park almost everyday. It is near my grandpa's home, only a 10-minute walk, in Luohu District, Shenzhen City, China. There was a big lake in the center of the park. "When you were a baby, the water was cleaner than now," said my grandpa. " Now there still are fish, but not like before. The lake still is polluted."
Honghu Park was built in 1984. The lotus flower represents the park. Every year, the park shows many types of lotus flowers to everyone. There are three lakes in the park, one big in the center and two small lakes. When it was built, the water was very clean. Sometimes you could find fish swimming in the lake and many people fished in the lake. In January 1987, Honghu Park Service was established. Its purpose is to protect the park.
But in 2001, there was a big problem. Many people noticed the lake's water got less and less. It dried up in many places because the water level was falling. Dozens of people fished in the lake. Then Honghu Park Service set up "No Fishing" warning signs, but people still fished anyway. They ignored the signs. Yong Qiong Tang, of the Honghu Park management, said, "The park can only strengthen the work of persuasion and education, try to stop these people from fishing." But the park was powerless.
Now, Honghu Park Service has a new plan: they will have a special fishing area. They hope people will use this special area so they will not destroy other lakes and can protect the environment. But another big problem is happening. The Honghu Park Service found a lot of garbage was thrown in the lake. They think the reason is because the number of people entering the park is increasing. They are still finding some ways to solve.
I asked my grandpa, Chen Zhang, 75, a retired worker, "Do you know any way to solve this water problem?" "Yes," he said. "I think they should clean the garbage every week and set up more warning signs to remind people not to throw garbage into the lake. The third way is add more manpower to patrol the park. If each person has consciousness, then the park will be more beautiful."