Sunday, October 12, 2014
It is difficult to imagine that, 8 years ago, this was a dump yard. Even though it had the grand name of 'River View Park', the Corporation of Chennai had not got around to doing anything about making it a park, as it had done with several of the other public spaces under its control.
In 2006, Nizhal, a not-for-profit organization stepped in to support the Corporation. With the help of several volunteers, the rubble was cleared, saplings were planted, the area was better demarcated. Each round of effort with the volunteers raised the Corporation's confidence - and some funds through contributions - which helped in adding facilities like walking tracks, a wall around the park and staff for its upkeep.
Today, the Kotturpuram Tree Park is a wonderful getaway from the city's sights and sounds. The saplings have grown, through the trees are still not so big as to provide great shade, they are all well on their way. The Friends of the Kotturpuram Tree Park (FKTP) have provided signs with the names of the trees - botanical, as well as the local name. The FKTP also helps with the upkeep and in coordinating the efforts of volunteers, many of who are children from the nearby streets and schools. Nizhal continues to be involved, helping the FKTP and the Corporation figure out how to leverage this showpiece of public-private partnership in the cause of general welfare!