THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A biodiversity garden greets visitors at Thonnakkal Government Higher Secondary School. There is an open classroom adjacent to it and a pond in which the school’s eco-club breeds fish. Breaking the conventional school atmosphere, students stay close to nature. It is the result of a dedicated set of teachers, parents and students to develop a culture of responsibility towards the environment.
“It was a barren land initially. We slowly developed it in 2018 to make a butterfly garden. Now we have 70 species of medicinal plants, each labelled and maintained. We also have 40 indigenous varieties of flowers as part of our efforts to protect local species. There are special plants for butterflies also. Students can sketch the life cycle of a butterfly here. Also, there is a pond where we breed fish as part of the Fisheries Department’s ‘Muttathoru Meenthottam’ project,” said Rekha Padmagopal, coordinator, Eco Club.
The garden is spread over a five-cent land. The adjacent open platform was inaugurated a few days ago. The garden is watered via drip irrigation.The school has boxes to collect plastic pens. They plan to insist on the usage of paper or ink pens in the upcoming academic year. “
Most schools give away tree saplings on Environment Day. However, here the eco-club decided to follow up on the tree saplings that are given away The students are required to take pictures of the sapling growth in various stages and share it via the school WhatsApp group. “As many 66 students are taking care of their plants. We will soon visit their houses to witness the growth of the plants. We also have a paddy field in Punnaikunnam,” said Rekha.
The efforts of the school have brought them various awards. The PTA won an award from the government and one from the Agriculture Department for the terrace farming done. done. Currently, terrace renovation is under way and thus agriculture work is limited to over 100 grow bags. Principal H Jayashree, headmaster Sheena A, PTA president G Sajayakumar and staff secretary Divya D lead the team along with the school’s eco-club.