Taking stock of the green cover in Chennai

Nizhal has extended its tree survey to various neighbourhoods and wants residents to sign up as volunteers

“We had earlier carried out tree surveys at Thiruvanmiyur, Gandhi Nagar and areas that come under the jurisdiction of Ward 176 of Greater Chennai Corporation. Using Geographic Information System Mapping, we recorded tree surveys in Kotturpuram Urban Forest and Panagal Park,” says Shobha Menon, founder, Nizhal.

In keeping with the challenges posed by the pandemic, this time the exercise seeks to engage residents to keep count of the trees in their respective localities.

“Because of unauthorised cutting of trees in the city, we have lost many trees. There are no records to prove that those trees were rare or not. So, this exercise is also aimed at exploring the possibility of planting more of the tree species that we lost,” says T. D. Babu, trustee, Nizhal.

He says that by extending this initiative to many new localities, a huge stride is being taken towards having a tree inventory.

Resident-volunteers can be part of this work alone or with their friends or neighbours.

The kind of tree species, whether the tree is subjected to tree abuse (nailing of boards) and its heritage are factors to be taken into consideration. Where identification of the species is difficult, pictures of the trees can be sent to the Nizhal team.

“Common trees seen on roadsides are neem, gulmohar, raintree, pungam, copper pod and arasamaram,” says Avni Mohindra, programme co-ordinator.

To be a part of the tree survey, log on to nizhaltn.org

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