If competition leads to excellence in humans, why not in the trees? It is with this idea that the Tirupati Urban Development Authority (TUDA) proposed to develop a park with high density plantations, with a broader objective of environmental management and carbon dioxide mitigation.
The idea is simply based on the concept of “survival of the fittest”.
Random saplings are planted nearby, that is, at a distance of half a meter, so that the most deserving not only survive, but also emerge stronger. The concept was introduced in Japan in the 1980s by Akira Miyawaki, renowned botanist and expert in plant ecology, as an innovative new approach to reforestation. The seed specialist used native plant varieties and recommended unusually dense planting to spark competition.
The technique has worked all over the world, regardless of soil or agro-climatic conditions.TUDA took on the task of developing a park, billed as a “ mini forest ”, in Avilala panchayat adjoining Tirupati, where a total of 4,200 plants, comprising 130 species, will be grown in a small area of 1.3 acres.
A similar attempt has been made by the Forestry Department in Vijayawada, Srikalahasti and near Naravaripalle in the past, but this is the first time that an urban development authority has taken on this difficult task.
“We grow native plants such as Maredu, Bandaru, Peddamanu, Udaga, Chigara, Panasa, Adavinimma, Kanchanam, Pasupu veduru, Bandiga Gurivinda, Velaga and Bommalamarri in this park, ”says Chevireddy Bhaskar Reddy, President of TUDA. These trees with a larger canopy will ensure the development of an entire ecosystem, including microbes, worms and insects, reptiles and birds.
“ Miyawaki Parks ”
Given its success, other “Miyawaki parks” will be developed across the boundaries of TUDA, adds Vice President S. Harikrishna, alluding to plans to create such urban forests in Tiruchanur and Srikalahasti. TUDA invested just 10 lakh in a well and drip irrigation network, as the saplings were provided free of charge by Andhra Pradesh Greening and Beautification Corporation. The existing soil was replaced with fertile topsoil, coconut peat, vermicompost or cow dung and rice husk in equal proportions.