On 8 September 2018, students and faculty of Ambedkar University Delhi (AUD) and other Universities such as Shiv Nadar University and University of Delhi participated in the Nature Walk and Plantation Drive 2018 event organized by the Centre for Urban Ecology and Sustainability (CUES) at the Dheerpur Wetland Park (DWP).
Nature Walk (Event 1)
The Nature Walk which commenced at 7:30 AM saw the participation of over 50 students and faculty. Before the walk began, Dr Suresh Babu, Director, CUES provided the participants with a brief background of the Dheerpur Wetland Restoration Project. Using a pictorial representation, Dr Babu demonstrated the trajectory of the restoration project and the changing character of the DWP landscape over the last three years. The Nature Walk presented the participants with a first-hand experience of an on-going ecological restoration project in the city. Using spotting scopes and binoculars, they were also able to witness the avifaunal diversity of the wetland park, which is one of the key indicators of a recovering habitat. Finally, Dr Babu talked about the unique challenges of a restoration project in the urban. The Nature Walk concluded at 9:30 am with participants having an opportunity to interact with each other and the CUES Team over tea and snacks.
Plantation Drive (Event 2)
The second event began at 10:30 PM with the Vice-Chancellor of AUD, Prof Jatin Bhat inaugurating Plantation Drive 2018 by planting the first sapling, after which Prof Asmita Kabra, Registrar, AUD, and Prof Praveen Singh, Dean, Planning, AUD planted saplings. Prof Shyam Menon also participated in the event by planting a sapling (‘Planted by’ and ‘Species name’ can be found in the following slideshow).
Staff and students numbering more than 60 planted several native tree species such as Ficus krishnae (Krishna Fig), Ficus benghalensis (Badh), Ficus religiosa (Peepal), Ficus heterophylla, Neolamarkia kadambha (Kadambh), Bambusa Bamboo (Bamboo), Bombax ceiba (Semal), Terminalia arjuna (Arjun), Syzygium cumini (Jamun), Haldina cordifolia (Haldu), Ziziphus oenoplia, Diospyrus montana (Bistendu) and Delbergia sissoo (Sheesham). In total, an approximate number of 250 saplings belonging to 20 species were planted along avenues within the park boundary. It has been 3 years since restoration efforts began at the Dheerpur Wetland Park under the management agreement signed between Ambedkar University Delhi and Delhi Development Authority. Annual Plantation Drives such as this have been instrumental in engaging city-dwellers in the restoration project and making them aware of the various facets of the project, including the role and importance of native trees. The Plantation Drive concluded at 12:30 PM with refreshment and a sprightly group photo.
For more photographs of the event, click here.