Govt school children tend to Miyawaki forest on campus

Plantation involves Japanese technique leading to fast growth 

Published: 23rd April 2019 06:50 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd April 2019 06:50 AM   |  A+A-

Saytrees, a voluntary group, planted saplings last year which have now grown into 10ft tall trees | Express

Express News Service

BENGALURU: On World Earth Day, there was a hearty celebration for children of Hennagara Government High School in Hennagara village. They celebrated the first birthday of their Miyawaki forest -- 5,500 trees planted over half an acre of area in the school last year.

The saplings, planted by Saytrees, a voluntary group, have grown into 10ft tall trees, making the area look like a mini forest.Eighty species of plants, like neem, jamun, silk, cotton, banyan, amla, peepul, guava, bamboo, honge and many more were planted, to create a Japanese Miyawaki forest. “A Miyawaki plantation involves planting of native species close to each other randomly on the forest bed, ensuring that no two similar varieties are adjacent to each other. Soil testing is done to provide organic nutrition -- we add biomass to the soil which is loosened up to a depth of 1 metre. Biomass like cocopeat, rice husk, cow dung or anything locally available is mixed with the soil to create the forest bed. This creates a micro climate which promotes healthy competition among saplings, leading to faster growth,” said Durgesh Agrahare, head of Partnership and Project at Saytrees.

The forest needs continuous maintenance, like watering, removing weeds and adding nutrients to help the plants grow into healthy trees.The forest on the government school campus attracts many children and has become an add-on study class. Teachers and Saytrees volunteers are teaching the students about different species of plants and their maintenance. Students also take the initiative to water the plants.

“The children are very happy to see the forest which has grown in no time. That is the speciality of the Miywaki technique. A 100-year-old forest grows in just 10 years,” said Agrahare.

A clean-up drive was also taken up as part of World Earth Day, with 25 volunteers clearing up trash in the forests.

So far, Saytrees has planted over 50,000 saplings using the Miyawaki method, and aims to plant another 5,00,000 saplings using the same technique in 2019.


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