Faridabad, October 2023: Shiv Nadar School students and teachers, along with the Urban Environment Division of the Faridabad Metropolitan Development Authority (FMDA), have managed to transform the once-neglected public wasteland in Sector -82 into a thriving forest, setting an example of a successful Public-Private Partnership (PPP) for ecological restoration.
Before this transformation, the public wasteland covered an area measuring 230 meters by 30 meters, which had deteriorated into a marshy wasteland laden with waste dumps and stagnant waterlogging. The wasteland was originally under the ownership of FMDA. To convert it into a forest, a detailed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Urban Environment Division of FMDA and Shiv Nadar Trust, solidifying the adoption of the wasteland for this noble cause.
Inspired by its mission to give back to society, Shiv Nadar School, Faridabad, embarked on this initiative to create a forest in Faridabad that would stand as a testament to its commitment to the environment. Anju Wal, Principal of Shiv Nadar School, Faridabad, said, “This initiative aims to provide students with a meaningful learning experience and lasting societal contribution. The transformation of this wasteland into a flourishing forest serves as a testament to the power of community collaboration and environmental stewardship, bringing the city of Faridabad one step closer to a greener, more sustainable future.”
The project involved planting 8000 evergreen trees and creating a forest, a water body, and a walker’s path. The ongoing forest plantation with approximately 5,000 saplings in the ground required initial cleaning, levelling, and landscaping phases and needed two months of effort before the forest area was inaugurated. The project faced several challenges, including toxic soil, poor soil quality, and land levelling difficulties. Solutions involved changing soil textures, selecting appropriate compost, and enriching the soil with micronutrients through burning compost.”
Approximately 50 different plant species have been selected for the forest, including Harsringar, Jamun, Ber, Guava, Custard apple, Moringa, and various bamboo species. The species selection was based on their native origin to support a self-sustaining ecosystem. The project employed innovative techniques, including phytoremediation for water treatment, marshy water for irrigation, and rainwater harvesting in a manufactured pit for plantation.
Over the next three years, this newly established forest is expected to become a thriving habitat for wildlife, including migratory birds, bees, butterflies, insects, and amphibians. Aimed to enhance the local flora and fauna, provide a source of pure oxygen, and contribute to carbon sequestration for the neighbourhood, Shiv Nadar School, in partnership with Give Me Trees Trust, will jointly maintain the forest for the next two years, after which it will transition to a self-sustainable model.