By Cheng Ming-hsiang and William Hetherington  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

The Miaoli County Government has announced that it is to spend NT$31 million (US$998,229) to build a family park in Jhunan Township (竹南), which is to include a 6m-tall slide and other children’s entertainment facilities.

The county last year built the Miaoli Miao Family Park (貓裏喵親子公園) in Miaoli City, which has received praise from the public, it said, adding that it plans to build three family parks in total.

The Jhunan park, which is to be built on the site of the Shishan Sports Park (獅山運動公園), is to include a replica of Huoyan Mountain (火炎山), through which slides would be built, and will have a forest-themed design with wheelchair-accessible children’s equipment, the county government said.

The park is to have a large parking lot and space for weekend markets, it said, adding that it expects work to be completed before the Lunar New Year holiday next year.

The first park in the project, which has been dubbed “octopus park” for the large octopus-themed playground in its center, is flooded with families every weekend, it said.

After the Jhunan park is completed, the county plans to build a third park in Yuanli Township (苑裡) near the coast, it said.

Since opening, Miaoli Miao Family Park has attracted more than 100,000 visitors, Miaoli County Commissioner Hsu Yao-chang (徐耀昌) said.

The Jhunan park is also expected to be popular for its slide, which will be the longest at a family park nationwide, the city said.

The park will have abundant space for the township’s families to play together, it said.

“We hope all families can enjoy the happiness of playing together with their children,” it said.

Yang Ming-nao (楊明鐃), director of the county’s water works, said that the forest and mountain-themed design fits well with its surroundings.

At 2 hectares, it will become one of the township’s main attractions, Yang said.

The Jhunan park passed two assessment hearings and the county collected feedback before finalizing the plans, he said.

The county will be sure to complete the park before the Lunar New Year holiday so that families can play there during the break, he said.