A garden has come up on a New Town plot opposite the Biswa Bangla Convention Centre. The garden has been planted with saplings following the Miyawaki method.
The Miyawaki method is one of the most effective tree planting methods for creating forest cover on degraded land.
It takes some 300 years for a forest to develop naturally, but if one follows the Japanese style, where fast growing local trees are planted and nurtured, they grow and reach their maturity at a much faster rate, experts said.
The plot of land where the forest has come up is inside the Karmyog Green Village and has been carved out from the garbage-ridden bank of the Bagjola canal.
Sourabh J. Sarkar, the co-founder of Karmyog Green Village, said that they had started planting a variety of fast growing trees and saplings a year back to create the Miyawaki park.
Akira Miyawaki is a 93-year-old Japanese urban botanist who has developed the model that is followed widely in Japan and several other South East Asian countries to create small forests right in the heart of cities.
According to the method, native species of trees must be planted in a way that the tallest tree species will be at the centre followed by those having medium height while the outer cordon is formed of ground species.
The garden in New Town has short shrubs like Syngonium and Rapish Palm in the outer ring, while the trees like pomegranate are in the middle tier and tall trees like jackfruit and mango are at the centre.
“The progress is quite satisfactory and we hope to have a mini forest in the next few years,” he said.
The forest, is open to visitors throughout the day.
According to Sarkar, they want to encourage people to set up gardens on their rooftops; learn about new techniques and styles to create their own green space.
“Living in the city comes with its own challenges and a green space somewhere in the house not only helps uplift a person’s mood but also provides a steady source of clean oxygen. During the pandemic we learnt the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle and how we take the air that we breathe in for granted,” said Sarkar.
Kolkata’s air pollution levels, like other cities in the country, has been on the rise and experts believe that this can be countered by planting as many trees inside the city limits as possible.