The college first started from an Old Municipal Hospital Building and the first principal during the British regime was Cowley Brown and the road is now named after him.
The centenary celebration of Tamil Nadu Forest Academy, located on a lush green campus on Cowley Brown Road in the city, is beginning on Saturday.
According to S. Balaji, Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and Director of Tamil Nadu Forest Academy, the present Forest Academy came into existence in 1912 as Madras Forest College and the first batch of trainees were inducted on July 1.
The college moved into its own building on the sprawling premise in 1916. It had trained over 640 forest rangers from India and Sri Lanka as part of induction training programme from 1912 to 1939. During the World War II, the college remained closed from 1939 to 1945.
In 1945, C.R. Ranganathan took over as the First Indian Principal of the college. Government of India took over the administration of the college in 1952 and in 1955, it became the Southern Forest Rangers College. Initially, the college provided rigorous two-year training and given the growing need for training rangers from 1979 to 1988, the college condensed the training into a one-year programme. In 1988, Union Government transferred the responsibility of training rangers to the State Government. In 1990, the SFRC was revived by the State Government. In 2005, SFRC was upgraded as Tamil Nadu Forest Academy.
To recollect and relish its rich legacy and history, the centenary celebrations would be held from July 4 to 6 and pre-celebration event from June 30 to July 3, he said.
To mark the centenary and to equip the force for the challenges in forestry management, a National Seminar on Forestry Vision 2023 will be held on July 5 and 6.
The national seminar will bring in all forestry experts to evolve a strategy for the next one decade i.e., from 2013 to 2023, wherein the need for use of technology such as GPS and GIS would be stressed, he added. The four broad themes of the seminar would be Sustaining Gains of Joint Forest Management, Challenges in Wildlife Management, increasing Natural Capital outside Forests besides Current Trends and Future Needs of Forestry Education and Training.
On day one i.e., on June 30, drawing and painting competition for primary and middle school children and school-level essay competition are on the cards. For details and registrations interested persons could contact 0422-2432642 or 99944-49248.
On July 1, there will be a mini marathon for 5.6 km to be flagged off by the Collector from the Academy at 7 a.m. and at the same time City Police Commissioner A.K. Viswanathan will flag off a cycle rally. For details interested persons could contact 94420 07872. In the evening, there would be a walkathon and for details and registration contact 98948-32592.
On July 2, there would be an eco-walk by youth with experts in bird watching and familiarisation of bio-diversity in the campus at 6 a.m. for registrations 94420-07872.
On July 3, schools students would be permitted to visit the Gass Forest Museum without any entry fee.
On July 4, Ministers K.T. Pachamal (Forest) and S. Damodaran would take part and lay the stone for centenary auditorium and launch the celebrations besides releasing a book. Mayor S.M. Velusamy will distribute prizes to the winners of the competition at 9.30 a.m. Last day of the centenary celebration would have National Seminar on Forestry Vision 2023 at 9.30 a.m.