Daegu Arboretum–An Eco-friendly Reclaimed Landfill

arboretum in Daegu

Daegu Arboretum is the first of its kind. Its the first landfill project in the country to be reconstructed as an eco-friendly park. The park is almost a square mile and includes more than 1,000 varieties of trees, wildflowers, cacti, and medicinal herbs. In addition, there are bonsai, ponds, fountains, and groves of bamboo and fruit trees to meander through. There are several trails and grassy areas for picnics from which to enjoy the seasonal changes in the park.

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They look like they are strolling, but it started to rain and they are actually hauling ass. lol


Daegu Arboretum–An Eco-friendly Reclaimed Landfill

Spend a day at the Daegu Arboretum. It’s a reclaimed LANDFILL that until recently stored more than 4.1 million tons of garbage. And like Suseong Lake, its a very popular place for locals and just one of the reasons I like living in South Korea. It had been abandoned for 10 years prior to construction. Now the roots of thousands of native trees are working to effectively compost the waste. And now this once unusable space is a place where locals can mingle. They can learn how to protect the environment, enjoy a picnic or a cup of coffee as they stroll from one end of the park to the other.



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It looks like it’s in the middle of a forest but its really on the outskirts of the city of Daegu. The first reclaimed landfill made into an eco-friendly park in South Korea

The Layout of the Daegu Arboretum

There is a large map at the entrance of the Daegu Arboretum facing the parking lot as well as paper guides. Unfortunately, most of the information has not been translated into English. However, there is enough to understand what you are looking at.

The plants in the Arboretum are arranged in 23 sections according to their species. So visitors can understand the plants and how they benefit our lives and the roles they play in the evolving nature of… duh… nature.

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Who doesn’t love the color purple?
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I am quite fond of bamboo. And I was happy to stroll through the grove of this very fast-growing and renewable wood resource.

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In this episode of HGTV’s Hanoks International…
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Lifelong friends who met in Germany years ago and now reside in South Korea… the US Army is a small world folk.


Cacti House

It is home to more than 1,000 species of plants including giant cacti, flowers, medicinal herbs, and trees. In addition, the facility holds ecology programs for students and young children. And as a result, the Daegu Arboretum has been recognized as an excellent model of ecosystem restoration.

There are indoor exhibits with videos, botanical art, and more with limited translation. All the exhibits are staffed to answer basic questions. And many include hands-on experiences for all ages.

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Those ARE NOT ottomans.

We totally enjoyed the cacti house. There were some very unique plants in there. It’s located near the entrance and the bog swamp, medicinal herb garden, and coffee nook. We went the last week of March. You could get a hot dog and a cup of coffee but not much else inside the park. I am sure there is more food available during the warmer months.

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Unbelievable… this is a mature tree… in a pot.


The Bonsai Garden

There is a bonsai garden at the Daegu Arboretum. However, during cooler weather, they are stored indoors until the summer. When the weather is mild enough, they are placed outside on the upturned kimchi pots. You can only wonder how they get those trees to grow in a pot?

I suggest you drive to the Arboretum and it is stroller and wheelchair accessible. Hours of operation: January-April, September-December 09:00-18:00 May-August 08:00-19:00. The park is located at 342 Hwaam-ro, Daegok-dong, Dalseo-gu, Daegu, South Korea.

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  1. Anne

    I love the idea of recycling our environment to get the best out of our beautiful planet. It looks like a wonderful place to spend an afternoon.

  2. blair villanueva

    The place turns to be so beautiful! Kudos for the team who made these happen. I hope they can transform many landfills soon!

  3. Jazz (@JazzOnTheRun)

    I want to live here!!! It’s so very enchanting and beautiful. It’s fascinating to see trees of that size indoors.

    1. duffelbagspouse

      Jazz get your ticket. SK is still an affordable place to visit, much more so than its neighbors Japan and China.

    1. duffelbagspouse

      I love bamboo. Its such a strong but renewable tree. I had bamboo floors installed in my home and it made all the difference.

  4. G&D Blog

    Wow! That place is beautiful. My husband and I also planning to live there someday when we start traveling. We’re also checking that place out. I love to hear that you’re sharing this post to military spouses out there.

    1. duffelbagspouse

      Its a great place to jump off to the rest of Asia and its still affordable and accessible to anyone who wants to experience the culture.

    1. duffelbagspouse

      My girlfriends said she could smell the garbage, she couldn’t and if I hadn’t told her she wouldn’t have said that.

    1. duffelbagspouse

      Its such a small country, its a great idea because they didn’t have a plan in place to deal with pollution back then.

  5. Hannah Marie

    I am really amazed by the commitment of South Korea on it’s nature and history. I would love to visit someday. It’s so beautiful there!

    1. duffelbagspouse

      They are making strides. The old and new overlap in so many ways. Some of which make this place hard to understand, but under it all, its a beautiful culture and the people are warm and inviting.

    1. duffelbagspouse

      Looking forward to going to the largest bamboo forest in South Korea in a few weeks. It is a stunning backdrop.

    1. duffelbagspouse

      Me too. We have to protect the land under our feet better than we have. Where else are we going to go if we don’t?

  6. Elizabeth O.

    It looks like a pretty cool place to visit. I love that they chose to maintain it as well instead of developing it into a commercial site with buildings. It’s really beautiful.

    1. duffelbagspouse

      Yup you just cover over the trash with a few layers of earth and plant trees and plants. It works the same way a compost work over time, pressure and heat. Its going to be the way forward for some places. They have also reclaimed land from the sea in much the same way.

  7. Bonne LeahSay

    As an avid gardner I find this SO fasanaiting and truly amazing. I enjoy touring our local botanical gardens and nature trails. I plan to see if any of our area landfills have commeted to a plan such as this.

    1. duffelbagspouse

      Thats a great idea and I highly suggest it as a way to get more municipalities to invest in green initiatives.

    1. duffelbagspouse

      Make sure you Google your own area and see if they have done this locally, so you can visit and support green efforts.

    1. duffelbagspouse

      Me too. Make sure you research your own area. We tend to overlook things in our own backyard and there are probably some great self guided or organized walking tours.

    1. duffelbagspouse

      Hi Robin Sue make sure you check and see if they have reclaimed spaces in your area. Its a great way to support green initiatives.

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