Av. 5 de Mayo #290, San Lorenzo Tlaltenango, Miguel Hidalgo, 11210 Ciudad de México, CDMX
The massive land of green space known as the Parque Bicentenario (Bicentennial Park) was reclaimed by the federal government from PEMEX (Mexican Petroleum) after it was abandoned for more than 10 years. Previously the oil refinery Azcapotzalco stood in this location until the local government and neighbors began complaining about the pollution generated by the industrial complex. Finally, in 2007, a group of institutions both public and private came together to clean up the polluted land and come up with the new concept for a renovation plan that would reinvigorate the plot of land (which is more than 10 times the size of the Zócalo) and turn it into a development that would provide the community with some added value. The parties involved included the government, several Mexican public universities, and international consultants.
The result was the Bicentennial Park that commemorated the bicentennial celebrations of Mexico’s Independence. The park was designed by several architectural entities all led by Mario Schjetnan and it’s considered an ecological installation that recreates 7 of the different types of climates found throughout the territory of Mexico, these microclimates host the different types of vegetation also found throughout the country, as well as an artificial chinampa (the small islets found in the canals of Xochimilco), an artificial lake, an auditorium, and several sports facilities.
One of the main features of the park is the orchid park which is the most visited area of the park. The gardeners of the place really do a good job in creating a perfect home for these delicate flowers which includes just the right amount of heat and moisture needed to preserve the orchids. Around 1,300 species of orchids are kept in the orchid park and approximately 40% of them are native to Mexico. The park actually houses multiple gardens organized into different themes that allude to the ancient Mexica cosmogony and are then divided into the different ecosystems that hold a greater variety of trees, plants, and flowers. The park is located next to the Metro station “Refinería” (“Refinery”, the only thing that remains from that ugly oil refinery), and is open from Tuesdays to Sundays from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The Bicentennial Park is 55 hectares of land that were once an industrial wasteland and that have now been reclaimed by human society on behalf of nature.
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