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2012 8/22-26 Designing Winter Refuge Islands and Horseshoe Crab Conservation Pools, Building Green Energy Generators, and Constructing Traditional Fishing Nets – Wetlands Breadbasket International Volunteers Workshop (Budai, Chiayi)

This info was just passed by a friend and what an amazing opportunity to travel southwards in Taiwan and learn about conservation as well get hands on in design and construction.

Workshop: Designing Winter Refuge Islands and Horseshoe Crab Conservation Pools, Building Green Energy Generators, and Constructing Traditional Fishing Nets. While the dates are 22-26; they would also welcome those interested to stay from the 23-25th if they have other plans.

Activity Description:
1. Habitat Restoration
(1) Winter Refuge Island Design and Construction: Participants will design and
construct a refuge island for the Black-faced Spoonbills. This island will shield the
spoonbills against the strong north wind during the winter months, while at the same
time enhance the diversity of the salt marsh roosting area, and provide Shin-Tsen
Elementary School with better bird-watching vantages.
(2) Horseshoe Crab Conservation Pool Design and Construction: Participants will
aid in the process of transforming a former salt pan into a horseshoe crab
conservation pool. Participants will work on the beginning stages of pool
construction, including pipe installation, pool lining (with sand and gravel), shade
provisions, and making directional signages.

2. Environmental Education
(1) PVC Pipe Telescope Construction: The PVC Pipe Telescope is one of the main
educational tools used by the students of Shin-Tsen Elementary School to observe
and monitor wetland wildlife, a curriculum that has recently attracted much attention
in the media, and has become a positive focus across many disciplines. This
method of constructing telescopes out of PVC Pipes was designed by Wu Jiun-Huei,
Professor of Physics from the National Taiwan University. In this workshop,
Professor Wu will explain his design, and lead participants in the construction of
approximately 30 telescopes made from PVC pipes. All telescopes will be donated
to local schools and community organizations for educational and ecological
monitoring purposes.
(2) Bicycle-powered Generator: Lead by Mr. Li Yung-Tzung, a local amateur
windmill engineer, participants will retrofit discarded bicycle racks with motors from
non-functional electric cars to make an electric generator powered by pedaling an
attached bicycle. The generated power will be distributed for usage by the
Blockhouse, Shin-Tsen Elementary School, and the Shin-Tsen Community Center for
the seniors.

3. Local Culture
(1) Traditional Fishing Net (Zeng) Construction:
Widely known as the
four-cornered net, the “zeng” is a traditional fishing tool made by tying two long

strands of arched bamboo sticks in a cross-shape, and can be often seen lined up
along the bridges facing the open sea. In this workshop, village elders will lead
participants in the construction of a set of zengs, which will then be displayed along
the bridge on the south edge of the Long-Kung River to serve as a cultural tourism
(2) Retrofitting the Blockhouse into a Bird-Watching Tower: During the height
of the salt-pan production, blockhouses served as look-out towers to prevent salt
theft. Usually composed of brick, wood, and reinforced concrete, blockhouses
stand out visually in open fields of saltpans, and can be found in almost every salt
pan division. Shin-Tsen Elementary School is located on the former Budai Salt
Pan District 7, and a blockhouse once stood at the west of the current school
buildings. When the saltpans were decommissioned and the land was rezoned for
schoolyard usage, the blockhouse was demolished.
Currently, Shin-Tsen
Elementary is planning to reconstruct the blockhouse on the northern part of the
schoolyard to be used for purposes of environmental education and demonstration.
Construction is planned to begin in August, and will be built by workshop
(3) Festivals
 Qixi (Chinese Valentine’s day)and Horseshoe Crab Conservation Day: The
timing of this workshop falls on Qixi, a traditional festival that takes place
on the seventh day of the seventh month of the lunar calendar, and is based
on a story of a pair of torn-apart lovers who can only be reunited on this day
each year by crossing a galaxy to meet each other. Coincidentally,
horseshoe crabs are monogamous; they mate for life, and hence are also
known as the “husband-and-wife fish”. In order to promote the idea of
horseshoe crab conservation, we have latched it onto the Qixi festival, and
invited couples to come together to paint horseshoe crab shells, adopt
horseshoe crabs, tour the Qixi bridge, etc.
 Stargazing in the salt pan: On the evening of Qixi, stargazing activities will
be organized in the salt pan, and participants will learn about astronomy, as
related to the traditional story of the cowherd (niu lang) and the weaving
maiden (zhi nu) crossing the river in the sky to meet each other.

Glutinous rice balls: In Budai, it is customary to make glutinous rice balls
on Qixi. There is a myth that it always rains on the day of Qixi, as they are
the tears of the weaving maiden from the sky; therefore, glutinous rice balls
are made with a dent in the center in order to catch the tears. This scene is
described vividly in the Hsiao Li-Hung’s novel A Thousand Moons on a

Thousand Rivers, and has become one of Budai’s most well-known
traditions. Wang Ye (Royal Lords, 王 爺 ) and Local Traditional beliefs: The
southwestern coast of Taiwan is an area abundant with diverse traditional
beliefs tied to each locality. This can be attributed to the region’s low
geographical setting, which gives rise to higher incidences of natural hazards.
As a result, placing one’s faith and physical safety in the hands of local
deities (often referred to as Wang Ye) became necessary for the preservation
of one’s mental stability. Through the understanding of these local beliefs,
we can further understand the structure of the local society as well as the life
philosophies of these villagers whose survival was tied so intricately to the
moods of the sea. In this workshop, the elders of Shin-Tsen Community
Temple will explain the traditional beliefs of the region, and will guide
participants through a ceremony of carrying Wang Ye’s palanquin (轎)

Event Date:
Wednesday August 22 to Sunday August 26, 2012 (Home-stay accommodations will
be arranged for all participants

Budai Visitor Center, 3F (Budai Township, Chiayi County, Shun-An Road, No. 61,
Phone: 05-3470051). Workshop sessions will be conducted in and around the
vicinity of the Budai wetlands.

Participant Limit:
The number of participants is capped to 30 (excluding local school participants);
registration is accepted on first come first serve basis. A volunteer certificate will be
awarded to all participants upon the completion of the full workshop.

Possess interest in topics related to ecological education and conservancy, wetland
habitat and processes, salt harvesting and aquaculture, cultural tourism, etc;
willingness to involve oneself on-site regardless of physical discomforts such as heat
and sweat. Language Proficiency 1~!!

Successful applicants will be notified via telephone and e-mail.
The list will also be posted on the NTU Architecture and Planning Research
Foundation website.


Download the registration form online at Fax to
(02)2366-0556 completed applications to (02)2366-0556, or e-mail to You can also email me and I can send it to you.


There are few free slots ope for those with foreign citizenship!
1. Procedure: Once your registration is confirmed via phone or e-mail
notification, please process payment within five days, and fax or e-mail your payment
receipt to to complete the registration process.
2. Payment: Please address payments to “Shin-Tsen Community Organization”.
 Bank:布袋農會永安分部
 Account Name: 新岑社區發展協會
 Account No.: 617-0253-21-0213820
3. Amount: Please do not pay until your registration has been confirmed. The
cost of this workshop is 2000NTD for students and 2500 NTD for non-students.
This fee covers insurance, meals and accommodations for the entire workshop
duration, workshop materials, transportation and administrative costs.
4. Refund: The fee is fully refundable if registration is canceled two weeks
prior to the workshop start date; otherwise, the fee is non-refundable. In the case of
cancelation (due to hazardous weather conditions or a low number of participants),
participants will be notified by phone, and all fees will be refunded.
5. Once the payment is processed, a notification package will be mailed to
complete the registration process.

By car
1. Take Highway No.17 to Budai.
2. From National Freeway No.1, get off at Xin-Ying exit, change to County Road
No.172. If coming from Freeway No.2, take the exit at Baihe and change to
County Road No.172, passing through Yan-Shui , Yi-Zhu, and arrive at Buidai.
3. Pass by Bu-Xin Bridge, turn right onto Shun An Road and arrive at Budai
Visitor Center.
By public transportation
1. Bus: Take the coach from Xin-Ying (passing through Yi-Zhu) to Budai.
2. Train: From Chiayi Train Station, transfer to the local bus heading towards
Shui-Shang, Tai-Bao City, Dong-Shi Town to Budai.
3. High Speed Rail: From Chiayi High Speed Rail Station, transfer onto a coach
heading into Budai.

Please note:
1. To reduce our environmental footprint, all participants are asked to prepare
and bring their own eating utensils, sleeping bags, toiletries, rain gear, water
bottle, sun-protection and medication.
2. As many of the workshop activities take place outdoors, participants should
assess their own physical abilities and ease of adjustment, mentality and
willingness to cooperate with others in a tight-knitted team environment.
3. During the workshop, participants will stay in Shin-Tsen Elementary School
as well as the homes of local families, and meals will be prepared by local
community members. Please assess your ability and willingness to adjust to
this arrangement.
4. After the commencement of the workshop, in the case that a participant is
unable to continue with the remainder of the session, the participant will be
responsible for covering his or her own transportation costs for the return trip;
the organizers will be able to aid only with the arrangement of transportation.
5. Within the workshop sites, internet access will only be available at the
Shin-Tsen Elementary School library.


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