Shobha Menon of Nizhal says:
On Aug. 26 morning between 6 am and 9.30 am a walk inside Theosophical Society was organised by Nizhal, a trust to promote tree culture. The Resource Person who conducted the Walk was Pauline Deborah. She is a Botany expert and a lecturer at the Women's Christian College. The Walk began with a brief intro by Mr. Dattatri on Madras origins, and Nizhal's desire to promote tree culturee.
The group was interactive , of mixed ages and in learning mode. One enthusiast had come from as far away as Perambur! Rohini Ramakrishnan of The Hindu, Young World and a reporter from the Adyar Times were also present through the walk.
The next day - Aug. 27, the walk was inside Guindy National Park.
Here is a Report on the GNP Walk from Karthik Gopal (Great Lakes Institute Of Management), one of the 'walkers'...
I joined the ‘Nizhal’ team on their nature walk at Guindy National Park (GNP) on the 27th morning. It was an opportunity to meet bright conservationists from various fields, who thrive towards tree protection and awareness movements in urban Chennai. I met Ms. Shobha who briefed me about Nizhal’s activities and welcomed me into the group. Our resource person for the day, Dr Mahadeswara Swamy, a botany expert from Mysore, had traveled exclusively for us, to share his insights on the flora that inhabited GNP.
It was a bright, pleasant morning. Dr Mahadeswara Swamy started the walk with a brief introduction about GNP. It was new news to many that GNP is indeed the nation’s smallest national park and one of the only national parks that is situated within an urban area. As we walked, he introduced us to many species of trees, plants and shrubs inhabiting GNP, often talking about their medicinal properties and uses. It was all a lot of valuable and insightful information. I should say that his energy and enthusiasm spread contagiously amongst the others.
Some of the flora and fauna we identified
Atalantia monophylla - wild lemon, Pongamia glabra - is used for making bio-oil for various fuel applications, Mimosops elengi, Wrightia tinctoria - used for mouth sores n also for psoriasis, Aegle marmalos, Glycosmis indochinensis - wild curry leaves, Prosopsis juliflora, Carisa spinarum, Carisa carandus - used for pickling, Cassia auriculata..avaram, Vitex negundo - used to cure sinus, Acacia planifrons - umbrella tree
Mammals - Mongoose (pair) - couldn’t identify the species as they were very far away
Birds - Rose ringed parakeet, Spotted dove, Common hawk cuckoo (or) brain fever bird, House crow, Grey headed babbler, Purple sunbird, Purple rumped sunbird, Common Indian mynah, Ashy wren warbler
It was a very refreshing and energy boosting walk. A feel good factor to have been amongst lush green trees and plants, cut off from the busy life and roaring vehicles that ran just a few hundreds of meters over the other side of the park. It’s so amazing how nature can cure you off the stress and strain.
The city likes exploring itself..
Another great thing that has happened is that Rajaram, our enthusiast from Perambur is evincing interest to organise Walks in Perambur, in the Huzoor Gardens, with Nizhal's help!