Campus plays a role in mitigating extreme temperatures

Apprehensions have been raised over the fate of over 100 trees and small plants, belonging to 34 species, at the Government Central School, Attakulangara, once the Thiruvananthapuram Development Authority (TRIDA)’s three-storeyed complex — planned for rehabilitating traders and building a bus shelter — comes up.

Tree Walk-Thiruvananthapuram, an informal network of citizens in the city, in their study on plant diversity, has found that some of the largest trees of the rain tree species are there on the sprawling campus.

Thespesia (Poovarasu) indicated the sandy nature of soil in some places. The Nochi plant (Vitex negundo) that greeted those entering the campus was valued for its lush growth and special medicinal properties.

The trees Cordia oblique (Pasakkamaram or Clammy Cherry) with its succulent fruit and Alangium salvifolium (Azhinni or sage-leaved Alangium) were not trees commonly found in the city. The campus, which would lose two acres to TRIDA, also had a Ficus benghalensis growing in its full glory around a palm tree.

Purifying effect

Tree Walk, while conducting a walk, came upon issues concerning the crowded East Fort area, the hub of city bus operations in the capital. It does not have many green spaces or trees left.

“The campus has a significant role to play in mitigating the temperature extremes and oxygen deficit nature of the East Fort area,” the report said. This was obvious from the immediate feeling of qualitative relief one felt on entering the school on a hot day.

As per the report, it was also quantitatively proven that there was a marked difference of 5 degree centigrade between the campus and outside at noon.

De-stress venues

Open spaces and grounds had been proven to have a major role in absorbing carbon dioxide and purifying the atmosphere. The school provides de-stress venues for young adults and children.

The Tree Walk, based on its observations, has suggested a full- fledged children’s park with landscaping, planting, and play facilities and a play ground with modern amenities such as work-out spaces and equipment in the school.

A complete inventory of trees and plants with involvement of students has been suggested.

A panel of educationists and experts should investigate and prepare a report on the status of the institution so that it did not get converted for purposes other than education.

A historical and cultural analysis of the school for restoration and preservation as a valuable landmark and setting up a nursery for the special trees on the campus has been mooted. A herbal garden has been suggested as there are various species of plants that have medicinal properties growing wild on the premises.