A couple of years ago, an open space belonging to the Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (TANUVAS) in Madhavaram Milk Colony was used as a thoroughfare by the locals.
And then, to make this area a green lung, TANUVAS and Nizhal, a trust promoting concern for trees, embarked on a plan to develop a bio-diversity tree park with the support of the State Trading Corporation of India Limited.
As a result, more than 200 saplings were planted by the volunteers from TANUVAS, Vepery, Jayagovind Harigopal Agarwal Agarsen College, Madhavaram, Chennai Social Service and students from St. Joseph’s Matriculation Higher Secondary School, Madhavaram, at this open space. The saplings were sourced from the Department of Environment and Forests, Government of Tamil Nadu, Auroville, Pondicherry, and Tiruvannamalai. Making it a park was no easy task.
“Even before the saplings grew, they were eaten by the cattle and destroyed by passers-by. We had to re-plant some saplings,” explains K. Kirthiga, a volunteer.
“We put three to four poles around a sapling and tied old rice bags and cycle tyres between the poles. The strategy was not very successful. Next, a team of engineers from TANUVAS surveyed the land and fenced the area. The entire cost for the fencing was borne by companies BEROE, DELL and HCL.”
Today, the barren land is an upcoming tree park with many indigenous species of trees like malai vembu, veppalai, magizham, athi species, aanai gundumani, aalam, malai poovarasan, naval and walsura.
Shobha Menon, founder, Nizhal, explains that the campaign is aimed at creating awareness among the public about environment. People should take the effort to grow more trees to fight climate change, she said.
K. Ganesha Murthy adds: Growing trees will help combat the challenges posed by climate change to a great extent. More youngsters should participate in environmental protection programmes. The park is supported by volunteers from across the city, who contribute to its upkeep and visit it on weekends.
Anyone can be a part of this movement and be a green warrior in this area. Resident associations, youth groups, schools, and interested individuals can contact the key players in this initiative.
For details, log on to www.nizhal.org