Not Just a Park, It’s a Unique Tree Park near Tannirbavi Beach
Mangaluru: Quoting Mahatma Gandhi’s words “What we are doing to the forests of the world is but a mirror reflection of what we are doing to ourselves and to one another”, the coastal city- Mangaluru has finally got the state’s first full-fledged unique beach side tree park, which is an initiative of the department of forests, created at a cost of nearly Rs 2 crores.. Spread over 15 hectares, this one among the nearly 40 tree parks in the State, which is divided into two sections with the section on the river side catering exclusively to species found in the Western Ghats and the other on the beach side to calophyllum inophyllum and other mixed species.
With the motto of the Forest Department, “To serve as a means for reconnection with nature by providing an opportunity for deeper understanding on interdependent relationship between people and nature”, The Tree Park flanked by Tannirbavi Beach on one side and Gurupura River on the other and situated about 14 kms from Mangaluru City was inaugurated by B Ramanath Rai- Minister for Forests, Environment and Ecology B on March 26. Other dignitaries present during the occasion were MLC Ivan D’Souza, MLA JR Lobo, Abhaya Chnadra Jain-state fisheries minister, Ibrahim Kodijal-congress leader and chairman of MUDA, AB Ibrahim- DK Deputy Commissioner, Dr Sanjay S Bijjur- chief conservator of Forests and many other top officials from the forest department.
Prior to the inauguration, speaking to Mangalorean.com, Deputy conservator of forests KT Hanumanthappa said, “The idea of setting up the tree park, which also has a herbal garden is to spread awareness about the importance of conserving biodiversity, to provide nature education to students and others, and also to provide a source of relaxation for the public, especially the city dwellers who do not get time to be in sync with nature. An interpretation centre will give information on the ecosystem and biodiversity of the Western Ghats. It will also give information on marine biodiversity as well. There are signboards throughout the park that will give people information about the trees. The tree park will not be all about trees and education, it has also a rich cultural component as well. This includes scenes of Yakshagana, kambala, bootha kola and dances of tribal communities of the region”
The formal function began with invoking God’s blessing through a prayer song, followed by as Nada Geethe. The main man behind the concept of the unique tree park, Dr Sanjay Bijjur addressing the gathering said, ” I feel proud of this unique park, because in which Nature, Culture, Adventure and Recreation are combined and provided at one place. Another unique feature of the location of this park, is that it is situated in between the Arabian Sea on one side, while Gurupura River on the other side. This park will provide amazing experiences for the visitors such as eco education, recreation, nature trail, beach exploration, tree observation, sunset etc.
With the forest department actively pursuing the chinnara vanya darshan programme, the tree park provides the idyllic surrounding for children to be in the lap of nature and learn about the local ecosystem. The park has pergolas to give the visitors a place to rest, footpaths for easy stroll round the park, food courts to satiate one’s appetite. The structures in the park are semi-permanent and made of wood since it is located in the CRZ area. A maintenance committee comprising officials of various departments has been set up to ensure that the project is self-sustaining and viable, and very soon a nominal entry fee will be charged for both adults and children. Also sooner, the department has also drawn up plans to start water sports facilities.
Speaking during the occasion, Minister Ramanath Rai said, ” My compliments to the hard working team of the forest department for creating a unique park. The government had launched the tree park project to create and /or develop lung spaces across Karnataka. The main goal of the tree park project is to educate the public about different species of trees and their significance in nature as well as in our lives. Tree parks also provide an additional protection from encroachment. Some of these parks have been created in areas that were previously encroached; some were dumping grounds while others were hangouts for anti-social elements. For obvious reasons, people kept a safe distance from these patches of land. Let’s join hands with the forest department in creating awareness among people and be a part in conservation efforts. I urge all the visitors who come here to maintain cleanliness around the park and respect nature”.
As a Chinese proverb says, “The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. The next best time is now.”- Climate change is what everybody talks about today, but it takes more than just talking to address this issue. Together, the officials of forest department have put in years of effort and get their hands dirty, so that the air is cleaner and the environment greener. In today’s times, when smog is the buzzword, there are still some places where fog uplifts your mood for the day – beautiful, mysterious and just right for you to walk or jog in. There is peace and tranquility in anything natural, and this Tree Park has it all. Along with providing protection to the existing trees in the parks, several indigenous saplings have been planted. While one can still see relics, it is very heartening to see so many native species that attract birds, insects and mammals.
With variety of Western Ghats’ species planted at the Tree Park – this plantation provides a glimpse into the nature of the work under the aegis of KFD’s tree park project. Information Center being set up enable visitors to learn more about nature, climate change, and the importance of trees and wildlife. Audio-visuals provide visitors the sound of mammals, birds, animals etc. With a keen sense of pride and ownership, the officials have cared for the green space by declaring it a no-plastic zone. Also, what can be better than sitting under the shade of a tree and enjoying a good book?-yes, you can at the Tree Park. Or you can sit under the Gazebo and watch the sea waves and moving boats and ships.
In conclusion , to sum it up- the Tree Park at Tannirbavi Beach features a Information Centre, Trail Path, Sandy Beach, Herbal Garden, Children Park, Cultural Murals, Canteens and Restrooms, Gazebos on beach, Central Pergola, Reception Cum Park Office, Dining Sit-Outs, Volleyball Court, and much more. A must read “Plea of a Tree”, while you enter the park is a model of tree installed with a “Tree Prayer” to sensitize the visitors on the role of trees in our lives. So make your plans for this weekend to visit the “Tree Park” near Tannirbavi Beach and enjoy the goodness of Nature.