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Let’s go wilding: Kalina's new biodiversity hub aims to reunite residents with nature

Updated on: 15 October,2022 09:34 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Sammohinee Ghosh |

A new biodiversity hub in Kalina employs scientific research to model an urban forest that will certainly pique your senses

Let’s go wilding: Kalina's new biodiversity hub aims to reunite residents with nature

To attract a multitude of butterflies, the butterfly garden houses jatropha, ixora, haldi kunku, dingala, lemon and koranti plants

We know Kalina as a suburban area for migrants seeking modest dwellings. Delimited by a military camp and an aviation terminal on one end, the region preserves remnants of its history through customs like the making of rotya — an East Indian hand-bread. But neither its churches nor its gullies direct us to a past of paddy fields, rivulets and foxes — kolhe [Marathi for fox] that’s said to have lent the place its name. But it’s in these environs that we spent a sunny day chasing butterflies and listening to magpies whistle. Developed under the joint initiative of the Rotary Club of Bombay, HDFC Bank and landscape design firm Mega Scapes, a biodiversity park in the area hopes to reunite urbanites with nature. 

At: Near Centre for Central Eurasian studies, Mumbai University, Kalina
Time: 7 am to 6 pm

>> The Miyawaki forest has plants such as hedu, sita, ashok, nagkeshar and parijat, among others. Pics/Atul Kamble

>> Let’s climb mountains and cross rainbows together — an installation along the lead-in kerb embodies the spirit of biodiversity and cohabitations

>> Birds and bee houses have been strategically positioned on trees to attract native species that can sense and blend with human populations

>> Visitors are welcomed with a pollinator pathway which flaunts a ground cover ideal for bees and other native pollinators. These pollinators are essential for sustaining life. We spotted galphimia, whose symmetric yellow bloom is considered visually calming in neuroscience. The park boasts of trees, plants, birds and insects that will specifically stimulate one’s sight, smell, taste, touch and hearing

>> The existing lake has been converted into an aquatic ecosystem where rescued turtles, water lilies and bamboo plants have been incorporated. The fountain that has an aesthetic value acts as an aerator. Increased oxygen levels promote the growth of healthy bacteria

>> A re-done amphitheatre with covered seating makes for the perfect sensorial ambience for live performances amidst nature

Smita Pandya, Abhishek Kawitkar and Shrikant Gund from Mega Scapes have studied the prospects of the plot to build the park

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