KTP

Seven years ago, this 5 acre area was a rubbish dump, and the Public Works Department  approached Nizhal to come up with a blueprint for regeneration of this waste land.

Nizhal envisioned and executed a master plan thereby converting this land into a biodiversity hotspot and arboretum for indigenous tree species. Today it is a thriving green lung with over 150 indigenous/ naturalized/ TDEF tree species (and over 500 trees/ shrubs) . In addition, there are many valuable medicinal herbs too.

That all this was achieved with limited resources and extensive voluntary efforts on part of green enthusiasts and the neighbourhood community, is a further testimony to the faith and power of committed volunteers.
The documentation of biodiversity (trees, herbs, insects, birds and animals) of this KTP has been done by college students. From a dumpyard with not even an earthworm, there are now around 100 species of fauna recorded.

The Tree Park is used as a Tree Learning Centre by students. Most of the tree saplings were sourced from Forest Way Nursery , Tiruvannamalai, Auroville and other local nurseries from across Tamil Nadu. Monitoring of the park is carried out every couple of days by a dedicated team of Nizhal volunteers.

Current activities

Regular ‘Shramdhans’ are held at the park on Sunday evenings. During these shramdhans, Nizhal volunteers are assisted by volunteers from the resident community, students, volunteers from across the city, professionals.

There has been a steady flow of enthusiasts into the Tree Park and it is being recognised as a prime urban biodiversity area in Chennai! Nizhal along with the Chennai Corporation and the Friends of Kotturpuram Tree Park (FKTP), a registered society, works at involving citizens who use the space to contribute and volunteer their efforts in preserving this special Community Biodiversity Park!

Local residents are actively involved in the park and also celebrated a Park day, which is to become an annual feature…another first for parks in the city!

The Tree Park is also a ‘living laboratory’ and regular student internship programs and a training ground. Special students are facilitated in an occupational therapy program too, by helping raise a herbal garden and to nurture saplings for planting in other Tree Parks. An ‘Asoka Vanam’ of the endangered Saraca asoka trees is the latest initiative at KTP.

Most wonderful is the fact that, the KTP has now inspired Tree Parks in different areas in the city – Chitlappakkam (now onto the third tree park!), Madhavaram, Perungudi, Ashok Nagar, Porur etc.

To participate in or organize a tree walk, write to nizhal.shade@gmail.com