There are nearly 50 parks spread across Wuhan; they offer local people a tranquil scene and fresh air. Studies indicate that total green coverage in Wuhan increased from 33.51 percent in 2003 to 38.19 percent in 2013.

After a long absence, frogs have returned once more to the downtown area. In the evenings, citizens can hear their cheerful chorus near the pond in Shahu Park, the largest urban wetland park in the downtown area.

The management office of Shahu Park said the return of frogs is linked to the recent connection of Shahu Lake and the East Lake, which has greatly improved the water quality and attracted large numbers of aquatic animals. Ecological planning for the park may have also played a part, especially the newly constructed wetland area, which helps establish a healthy ecosystem for a greater variety of flora and fauna.

Like Shahu Lake, which spawned Shahu Park, 23 out of the 40 lakes in Wuhan have either been incorporated into open ecological parks or are currently under construction. More and more citizens will be able to enjoy the natural sights and sounds in these retreats from the frantic urban scene.

Scenery in Shahu Park

City parks not only beautify the city, improve the environments of smaller neighborhoods, and improve air quality, but they also help to improve quality of life. In the mornings and evenings, many elderly or middle-aged people go to the parks or squares in Wuhan to do exercises like dancing and taichi.

Taking a walk and admiring the flower blossoms is a common pastime for Wuhan people during the holidays, especially Spring Festival or Mid-Autumn Festival, when the whole family gets together. It has become a kind of family tradition for the older generations to take out the younger for a relaxing walk among the flowers. Many citizens have at least one family portrait taken during one of these outings.

Jiefang Park in Autumn