We’ve been to Mui Wo several times in the past, but we’ve never been to Ark Eden. This is an outdoor camp, in the mountains of Lantau. Actually, not sure if I should call it a camp – it is much more than that.
The team running it does much more than taking out city kids into the green. They plant trees, restore old buildings, offer permaculture courses, eco days, nature connection and wellness workshops, work experience, corporate social responsibility projects and leadership training.
We visited on an Open Day that was aimed at families. When we arrived after a 45 minutes leisurely walk from the ferry, we were greeted by Jenny, the lady who started and runs this project. She showed us around and we explored the gardens they have built, the nature playground with the treehouse to climb and explore.
At the central area with the houses they’ve built we met other families. Their kids were already busy working in the wood workshop, hammering away. Working hard with hammer, nails and saws made everyone hungry, and there was free fruit and fresh bread available, which was lovely.
Afterwards, the children started exploring the tree house, played in the leaves and the adults helped to build a tent just out of wooden bamboo stick and some cloth. It was great fun for everyone.
The final part of the afternoon took place in the nature playground, with wooden swings and seesaws to play on. Some kids ventured off into the small stream to catch some fish or play with the rocks – and that was fine too.
We had a great time at Ark Eden and while we were visiting, we learnt a little bit about their approach and philosophy – it is an environmental education centre, really aimed at everyone. There is so much to do to protect Lantau and its nature from the concrete and cement of the city.