Here’s how residents created a canopy on their campus

When flat-buyers started moving into the 684-unit Jain Green Acres (JGA) in Zamin Pallavaram in 2007, they were greeted by sparse but welcome greenery. Thirty trees had been retained, with the construction carefully planned to leave the trees undisturbed.

Given the sprawl of the campus, thirty was a low number. Twelve years on, the 11-acre campus is dotted with more than 200 trees, with residents protecting what they received, and also consistently adding to their numbers.

“Year on year, we planted saplings in all the open spaces on the campus and nurtured them. We chose a mix of native and non-native species. We involved children and youngsters in plantation drives and encouraged them to nurture the saplings. Even when Cyclone Vardah knocked down more than a dozen trees, we didn’t lose heart and planted new saplings in their place,” says Arumuga Perumal, a block representative of the Jains Green Acres Flat Owners’ Association.

The apartment complex’s one-km long driveway too is adorned with flowering trees and herbal plants.

“The green canopy is a much-needed shelter during summer. Also, it has given a boost to biodiversity as the trees have invited more birds and squirrels into the campus,” adds Perumal.

Here’s how residents created a canopy on their campus

The greenery is integral to a sustainability philosophy followed at JGA.

“The fallen leaves from these trees are clubbed along with bio-degradable waste from flats and dried in large storage bins, and this is fed into the decomposter to convert it into manure,” says Perumal.

When adequate green cover was created within the campus, the residents’ focus shifted to the entrance which was just a patch of grass. “We started transforming this space only three years ago as we had to leave the entrance area untouched because civic development works were being taken up continually. We waited till digging works for drains and roads and utility cables were completed, to have the space transformed,” he says.

The entrance now resembles a mini-garden with flowering trees, crottons and a few neem and bamboo trees.

“It’s green welcome into our community,” Perumal quips.

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