Native flora being introduced on Nilgiri Library grounds

Students planted native grass at the Nilgiri Library in Udhagamandalam recently.

Students planted native grass at the Nilgiri Library in Udhagamandalam recently.   | Photo Credit: M_Sathyamoorthy

Native flora is being introduced to the grounds of the Nilgiri Library in Udhagamandalam. The more than 150-year-old heritage building is known for its remarkable Victorian architecture and its huge repository of books dating back to the 1600. The expansive grounds of the library had been planted with exotic trees such as cypress and eucalyptus since its construction.

However, with the permission of the library committee, the Rotary Club of Nilgiris West has begun introducing native flora in the grounds of the library.

Godwin Vasanth Bosco, a restoration ecologist who is supplying the native grasses and other flora for the project, told The Hindu that some of the branches of the eucalyptus trees surrounding the main buildings were lopped off, which now allowed enough sunlight to penetrate to the surface below, allowing for the introduction of native flora.

“We plan to introduce around 500-600 individual grass saplings and shrubs in the coming weeks. On Monday, we started with the planting of native Chrysopogon grasses,” said Mr. Bosco, who added that the main aims of the project were to arrest soil erosion, improve hydrology by allowing native flora to re-establish themselves, and also to showcase native biodiversity in one of the Nilgiris’ most iconic sites.

V. Balasubramanian, president of the Rotary Club of Nilgiris West, said that the pilot project was part of “Code Blue,” a wetland conservation project being undertaken by the Rotary Club. “We approached the library committee to permit us to carry out the plantation drive, which we hope will be one of the projects that help us spread the message of conservation,” said Dr. Balasubramanian.

Talks on

The Rotary Club of Nilgiris West also plans to plant native flora in the Collectorate, the St. Stephen’s Church in Udhagamandalam, and at the designated animal pound in Khandal. “We are in talks with the relevant authorities for permission to begin planting at these sites,” said Dr. Balasubramanian.

On Monday, volunteers from the National Service Scheme of the JSS College of Pharmacy in Udhagamandalam helped to plant the first batch of native grasses in the library.

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Printable version | May 31, 2020 2:04:41 PM |

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