Thiruvananthapuram: The fast expanding city of Thiruvananthapuram has certain green spaces that spread coolness and shade in the height of summer.
Tree Walk, a citizen’s initiative to explore urban landscapes, took out a walk to one of the smallest but amazing sites in the middle of the city — the School of Distance Education located on the University Senate Hall campus.
Thanalidam, as this space is called, was created out of the felt need of some of the faculty members led by Dr C.A. Lal in 2012 as this campus was devoid of greenery and filled with dust and rubble. The concept behind this was to recreate a healthy atmosphere on the tiny campus by greening it.
Dr Lal, who led the Tree Walk on Saturday, explained that the concept behind this green space also extended to conservation of some rare and special trees. On June 5, 2013, Sugathakumari planted a tree followed by greening with over 25 species of trees.
Tree Walkers were surprised by the diversity of the species and also the growth of the trees, reflecting the nurture and care that the Staff Club gave. Starting from Kerala’s State Tree, Indian laburnum, Ashoka and pomegranate, the campus also holds huge trees like Buddha’s coconut, three species of diaspyros including ebony tree, the endemic bone-setter tree, the highly medicinal Arjun tree and the special black Cutch tree.
Apart from these, the selection of species like custard apple, Brazilian cherry, Indian hog plum, mangosteen, South Indian plum, honey tree and Sorrel add to the edible fruit basket on the campus. The lush growth of spinous Kino, the sturdy Buddha’s belly bamboo, the evergreen mootapalam, the exotic Paradise, the Indian beech and mahogany add to the diverse line-up on the campus.
Tree Walk focused on the need for more green spaces in the city, which will create a micro climate that will lessen heat, absorb carbon and other pollutants and retain moisture and humidity. The Walk lauded the collective effort of the staff of the School of Distance Education and the help rendered by committed faculty. The work that went behind the selection of the species, including the collection of healthy saplings, was the highlight. Tree Walk intends to enhance its greening ventures with the onset of monsoon.
– Anitha Sharma...