Project lists

29.Construction of a mini botanic park of 8.4 ha within the National Garden Park of Mongolia Mini botanic garden project 
21 Mar 2022     
Project title: Construction of a mini-botanic park of 8.4 ha within the National Garden Park of Mongolia [Project ID: 2016P4-MN]
Supervisory agency: Ministry of Environment and Tourism, Mongolia
Executing agency: Mongolian Nature and Environment Consortium
Budget in USD (total/APFNet grant): 1,434,761/1,422,351
Duration: February 2016–August 2019
Target economy: Mongolia 
Location: National Garden and Park, Ikh Khuree Street, Bayangol District, Ulaanbaatar
Develop an 8.4-ha mini-botanic park within the National Garden Park of Mongolia in Ulaanbaatar city to provide a pleasant and comfortable environment for recreation and entertainment of citizens.
Expected outputs:
  • Allocation of an 8.4-ha project site and detailed project design.
  • Capacity building of National Garden Park staff.
  • Validation of project construction work in strict compliance with construction regulations of Mongolia and APFNet requirements.
  • Increase of forest cover in the National Garden Park of Ulaanbaatar and provision of a recreational centre for city residents.
  • Raise the awareness of Mongolian residents, especially the younger generation, about the conservation of natural resources of Mongolia through tourism.

Construction of a mini-botanic park within the National Garden Park of Mongolia

Mongolia is a forest-poor economy with a forest cover of 8.14 percent in 2006 (FAO, 2010). Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia, has various environmental and “livability” challenges, mainly caused by the rapid rate of urbanization and deforestation since Mongolia transitioned from a planned economy to a market economy in the late 1990s. The municipality committed to address these challenges in the “Green Development Strategy Action for Ulaanbaatar 2020” which aims to develop Ulaanbaatar into a green city, characterized by a sustainable, safe and healthy living environment for its citizens.
In 2009, the city governor of Ulaanbaatar made a resolution to build the National Garden Park along the Tuul River in the southern part of Ulaanbaatar, to expand urban greenspaces and provide facilities for environmental education, forest experiences and reconnect citizens with nature. This 1,280-ha park will also help to preserve the watershed of Tuul River, as well as mitigate air pollution. About 20 percent of the park has already been constructed.
In 2016, APFNet and the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, Mongolian Nature and Environment Consortium and the National Garden Park of Mongolia, launched a project to construct an 8.4-ha botanic garden within the park to showcase classical features of Chinese gardens and provide a site for people to experience forests in an urban area. This project has been credited as an integral part of the “Mongolian Green Wall” – a long-term national programme to combat desertification and reduce deforestation, approved by the Mongolian Government in 2005.
Upon completion of the project, the Ministry and the Ulaanbaatar city government will deem this park a critical contribution to ecosystem restoration efforts in Mongolia; achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities; and the Ulaanbaatar Green Development Strategy Action 2020.
Design and construction of botanic park
The botanic park is built in traditional Chinese garden style, combining vegetation, pavilion, winding trails, bridge, water pond and lights to express the harmonious relationship between people and nature. All the infrastructure is designed in Chinese landscape style. The park presents visitors with a series of intentionally composed and perfectly framed glimpses of scenery, built alongside a water channel.
Visitors enter the park over a stone bridge to reach a grey-green brick platform, surrounded by grey walls, and containing a rock sculpture with the name of the park. Across an arched stone gate at the end of the platform, the water pond and a traditional wooden pavilion occupies the centre of the park. About 2.5 km of winding trails allow visitors to experience the whole botanic park, where a series of landscaped nature scenes are revealed when walking along the trails. Green mountains in the distance appear to be an extension of the park itself.
The park was completed and opened to the public in October 2016. The administration of the park has been transferred to the National Garden Park for future management and maintenance.

 Entrance of botanic park. Photo: Mongolian Nature and Environment Consortium
Bird’s eye view of botanic park. Photo: Mongolian Nature and Environment Consortium

Inauguration ceremony, attended by Mr Tsengel Teegmid, State Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Tourism (fourth, from left to right), Mr Li Shuming, Deputy Administrator, State Forest Administration, China (middle), and Mr Lu De APFNet Executive Director (third, from left to right). Photo: Mongolian Nature and Environment Consortium.
Planting appropriate tree species
The vegetation is the most important and essential element of the park, replacing a previously degraded area only covered by weedy grasses. After the basic infrastructure was constructed, the park was planted with up to 8,965 diverse trees, shrubs and flowers. Through careful selection of each species, the colour of leaves and flowers changes continually as the seasons progress to provide interest all year. All plants selected are naturally distributed in temperate zones with a focus on species from Mongolia and northern China, and are both drought- and cold-resistant, crucial abilities to survive in Ulaanbaatar without needing excessive management and additional resources. Name plates with an introduction to each species were installed, so that visitors can learn about them. An irrigation system was installed to water seedlings.
Generally, multiple individuals of one species with potential to grow tall were planted with suitable spacing density surrounding the park or a bit further from the trails. Bushes and flowers were planted in clusters closer to the pathways. In 2016, 6,700 trees and bushes were planted, and APFNet provided further support to plant another 2,300 seedlings in 2018.
A detailed list of species planted in the park can be found in the following table.
Table 1. Species planted in botanic park

No Species Height (m) Quantity
Seedlings planted in 2016
1 Pinus sylvestris 2.5 2,500
2 Larix sibirica 2.5 1,100
3 Picea obovata 2.5 100
4 Populus 2.5 1,000
5 Syringa vullgaris 0.6-0.8 50
6 Lonicera altaica 1-1.2 100
7 Ribes nigrum 1-1.2 100
8 Malus pallasiana 1-1.2 50
9 Rosa acicularis 1-1.5 850
10 Caragana arberescens 1.2-1.8 850
Seedlings planted in 2018
1 Prunus virginiana 1.8-2.0 10
2 Prunus padus 0.6-0.8 330
3 Ulmus pumila 1.0-1.5 335
4 Rosa rugosa 0.4-0.6 300
5 Syringa oblata 0.6-0.8 330
6 Ribes diacanthum 0.6-0.8 330
7 Malus baccata 0.6-0.8 330
8 Hippophae rhamnoides 1.5-2.0 300
Total 8,965
The botanic park is now a popular place for local residents to unwind and get some fresh air after work and on weekends.

Design sketch of entrance area, with stone bridge, rock sculpture, pond, wooden pavilion, and rehabilitated forest.
Map of botanic park