Project Goal
Green the prison campus and reduce pollution, with the involvement of the staff and the prison inmates.

A team from Nizhal consisting of Ms. Shobha Menon (Trustee), Dr. Dayanandan (Advisor, Horticulture) and Mr. G. Dattatri (Advisor, Planning)was invited by the DIG of Prisons, Mr. Nataraj, to visit the site on 2nd April 2009. The visit was to understand the general soil conditions, availability of water and human resources for planting and subsequent care and maintenance.  
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The extent of the site is 85 Ha with prisons covering about 55 Ha. The site is generally flat and is covered by red gravel with clayey loam. At present water is drawn from the Metro water system and is used for drinking as also for other purposes including gardening. Since water requirement will increase when more trees are planted, recycling of wastewater was proposed.  

Basic greening has been carried out by planting Pungam, Nelli, Neem, Koyya, Coconut and other common species. Nizhal’s task is to increase the tree cover and add value to the campus by introducing other species of trees and shrubs.

The planting scheme includes Spot Planting i.e. planting of trees in specifically selected spots, Row Planting along the boundary walls after leaving a buffer and Cluster Planting in selected open areas. Small patches of kitchen garden already exist. Additional patches for growing of vegetables are to be identified. 

Nizhal has also proposed the initiation of a composting program with the leaf litter and food wastes, a plant nursery, and training for the inmates in horticulture both to maintain the garden and also acquire a skill that can earn them an income.
Current activities
Generally, a couple of volunteers accompanied by the expert advisor, Dr Dayanandam go on site visits once about twice a month. A key volunteer is Dr Babu, a marine biologist with a flair for community greening.  

In a short while, we plan to initiate the horticultural training activity for the inmates which will engage them in pleasurable and productive activities and also provide a means of gainful employment when they leave the premises.  

Nizhal has been approached by the prisons across Tamil Nadu in other districts – Coimbatore, Vellore, Salem, Madurai etc…we plan to begin activity in the Madurai Jail soon.