SAMBALPUR: Lending a green touch to State’s biggest glamping festival Eco Retreat, the Sambalpur Forest Division has started ‘One Tent, One Plant’ programme which encourages guests to plant trees near their tents at the getaway before they depart. The unique initiative is being put to use immediately and will continue throughout the three-month Eco Retreat that kicked off on December 9 at Hirakud near Balbaspur area.
The move is aimed at reducing carbon footprint at the site which would witness human activities and enhance green cover around Hirakud reservoir. Sambalpur DFO Sanjeet Kumar said, once the eco-retreat is over, it will leave behind carbon footprint which can only be compensated by planting trees around the area. If the event turns out to be successful, then the site can be developed into a permanent eco-tourism destination. “The ‘One Tent, One Plant’ initiative will help develop a green cover along the area by encouraging the tourists to plant a tree at the spot before they leave the eco retreat,” he added.
Under the initiative, the forest department has set a target to plant at least 2,000 trees by the end of the Eco Retreat on Februrary 28, 2021. The plants will be grown over 60,000 sq metre land. The department has already completed fencing of the area and dug pits for planting the saplings. Mostly saplings of Neem tree and bamboo besides a few flowering plants which need less maintenance will be planted in the area. Till the camping festival is on, the plants will be maintained by its managing body. Later it will be taken over by the Forest department.
This apart, the department will also impart training on making seed balls to guests. Kumar said, “We will encourage guests to make seed balls. Two staff will train them on the process. We will make seed balls from medicinal plants which will be collected from the guests and later planted during monsoon.”