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Arroceros Forest Park

Arroceros Forest Park

Manila, Philippines

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Description The Arroceros Forest Park is a riverside park in Manila, Philippines, located on Antonio Villegas Street (former Calle Arroceros) in the central district of Ermita. Developed in 1993, the 2.2ha urban forest on the south bank of the Pasig River, at the foot of Quezon Bridge, consists of secondary growth forest with 61 different tree varieties and 8,000 ornamental plants providing a habitat for 10 different bird species. Despite its small size, it is considered an important feature of the city. It lies in a historic area of Manila and has been called "Manila's last lung", being the city's only nature park. The park is administered by the City Government of Manila in partnership with private environmental group, Winner Foundation.HistoryThe area occupied by the Arroceros Forest Park used to be part of Parián, the Chinese trading settlement during the early Spanish colonial period. In the 19th century, it was the site of the Fabrica de Arroceros, a tobacco factory owned and operated by the Compañía General de Tabacos de Filipinas. During the American period, it was used as a military garrison which housed the Signal Corps at the Cuartel de Infantería and the Surgeon General's office at the Estado Mayor. When the Philippines gained independence after World War II, the barracks were converted into the headquarters of the Department of Education.