As the clouds hung thick and low on Thursday morning, the 11th of August, I kept my fingers crossed, praying that they’d just stay on till the afternoon for our planting session.

Fortunately, the weather gods obliged, and the setting was just perfect for Dunnhumby’s third plantation drive. The farthest end of the Park had been cleared and a judicious mix of tree and shrub saplings were placed by the pre-dug pits. This is done as a practice to ensure maximum survival of the saplings. The iamgurgaon (IAG) team has worked hard on selecting native Aravali plant species and has travelled extensively across India to source them. All of these are now nurtured in an in-house nursery. Over the years, the survival rate of planted saplings has improved tremendously and the park is well on its way to sustaining itself.

For the 15 Dunnhumby planters, the session began with a wobbly ride on a trailer to the planting site. A short briefing from an IAG member and the Park Supervisor followed, and the bubbly youngsters were on their knees, unwrapping saplings from plastic bags, lowering them into pits, re-filling, stamping, mulching with pebbles and stones, and finally watering. A general air of bonhomie prevailed over the entire exercise and between them, 120 saplings of Doodhi, Securinega, Gangeti and Gundi were planted.

As we trundled back on the merry trailer once more, there was a sense of “having done my little bit” in each one of us. There were eager questions from a number of volunteers, and some were keen to contribute in a broader way. Thank you, IAG, for creating this wonderful oasis and for awakening our green conscience.

 

By Saroj Raja who volunteered with planting at Aravali Bio Diversity Park on August 11, 2016.

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