Project to preserve natural setting without disturbing native species

The first nature trail with boardwalk in the city is being planned on a 1.6-km stretch of the banks of the Cooum near College Road.

The concept for the nature trail, being developed by the Chennai River Restoration Trust (CRRT), includes a rainforest setting, canopy walk and fragrant corner. The project is likely to be implemented by the Chennai Corporation once the government gives its approval.

Documentation of the fauna and flora on the banks of the river is under way.

The uniqueness of the project is in preserving the natural setting of the area without disturbing the undulating terrain and the native species, according to sources in CRRT.

The elevated nature of the boardwalk would ensure that the greenery that had developed in the area over decades is not disturbed by visitors. They would enjoy nature but not have access to the greenery or be able to disturb birds and reptiles.

The construction of a boardwalk winding its way at an elevated level through trees and shrubs would provide safe passage for the visitors. The boardwalk would be installed in such a way that it is above the maximum flood level of the river.

Visitors passing by the ‘rainforest setting' would have an experience of the lush growth during northeast monsoon shower.

The ‘canopy walk' would be a window to the tree top with bird nesting patterns.

The ‘fragrant corner' would have native species of trees with fragrance.

Various options for the entry point of the nature trail, including a suspension bridge from Spur Tank Road, are being considered. Locations for parking facilities have been identified, the sources said.

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