He used his hard-earned money, which he had saved up over the past 20 years, to buy more than 1,000 acres of swampy land to create an eco-lake that has turned into an incredible habitat for fish. Liang Huanlin from Guangdong Province, China, took it upon himself to create this unique natural habitat.
His eco-lake attracts around 10,000 herons every year. The heron is a long-legged freshwater and coastal bird. It is situated in Yhanoqing, Dinghu District, Shapu town. The eco-lake is surrounded by vegetable farms, green trees, and thousands of species of flowers. It is, however, the thousands of heron that are settling around the lake.
“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is acomplished.” — Chinese Proverb
“Currently, there are nearly ten thousand herons living on the island. They go out to search for food in the daytime and return at night. The reason why they stay back is because of the good environment,” Liang said.
Liang feels that he has done something very meaningful. He personally handles all the work at the eco-lake. He feels joyful every time one of the many visitors who come to the lake exclaim in awe when they see large numbers of birds at the lake, in the sky, and in the trees. Especially during the mornings and evenings, a large number of herons settle in the trees, where they can be observed gracefully stretching their wings as if they were attempting to touch the sky.
Liang intends to release more fish into the lake as feed for the birds. In order to preserve the ecological environment for the migratory birds, Liang refused to let out the land surrounding the lake to pig and duck breeders. He wants to prevent pollution of the water.
The birds migrate to the lake once every year. Every time he hears gunshots by the villagers, he reports them to the police.
It was in 2002 that Liang returned to his village with more than RMB10 million (about US$1.5 million) and began his venture of creating an incredible natural habitat for the herons. He spent almost all the money he had saved up over the past 20 years to create more than a thousand acres of fish ponds and swampy land.
In China, the heron symbolizes wealth, among other things. The white heron is also regarded as a symbol of Heaven. In many Chinese legends, a heron would take departed souls to Heaven.
In line with the legends about the heron, it will not be surprising if one day one of the herons depart to Heaven with Liang Hualin’s soul for his honorable deed.
Translation by Chua BC