Maehwamareum is an aquatic perennial (or annual) inhabiting paddy fields. It fully blooms from the late April to May and the diameter of its flower is about 1cm. This plant used to be widely grown in Yeongdeungpo, southern part of Seoul, until 1960s, but its population significantly decreased during the last few decades as its habitat was considerably destroyed due to the rapid urbanization and development. Recognizing the urgent danger imposed on the plant, Maehwamareum was designated as an endangered species in February 1998.
In May 1998, this endangered plant was rediscovered by National Trust of Korea in Ganghwa-gun, Incheon. Unfortunately, its habitat was in danger of disappearing at that time, caused by the readjustement of fields. Soon, National Trust of Korea recognized this imminent threat to Maehwamareum and designated the site as a place for preservation.
In order to protect the habitat, the organization had a number of discussions with local community to delay the readjustment. In the course of negotiation, one of the community members, Sa Jae-Gu, decided to donate his land to safeguard the endangered Maehwamareum and preserve its habitat. His donation became a milestone in preservation movement and led to a campaign to acquire more lands for protection.
In 2002, a total of 3,009㎡ was secured through land donation and crowd funding, becoming the first area of land for preservation by National Trust of Korea. In October 2008, the ecological value of the place was reaffirmed by the registration with the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands as the only rice paddy in South Korea on the list.
Opening time ｜ all year round (We recommend visiting in May to enjoy Maehwamareum in full bloom.)
Price ｜ free
Facilities & access ｜ Parking is available near the site. Toilet available on the site.
Contact ｜ +82 (0)2 739 3131 / email@example.com