The Native Biodiversity Garden, one of the first to be set up in Maharashtra is an earnest attempt to conserve nature, attract native species of flora and fauna back into our ecosystems and most importantly, serve as a Learning Resource Centre for students, teachers, parents and all visitors.
Spread over one acre of land at the edge of Teenvira Dam, this garden showcases the beauty and wonder of native plant species. These plants form a vital component of our ecosystems by providing habitats for insects, birds, amphibians and mammals, being an important source of food and medicines and providing ecosystem services such as air purification and preventing soil erosion.
This is an eco-friendly and sustainable garden, and visitors are requested to enjoy it with care. It is powered by solar energy with the aim to promote the use of renewable energy and uses drip irrigation to ensure water conservation. Pathways have been designed to facilitate wheelchair access.
This garden has 17 different thematic sections namely sensory, medicinal, butterfly, wetland or pond ecosystem, grasses, ficus, orchids, ferns, bamboo, palms, spices, kitchen, vertical, adaptation, celebration and a sacred grove. Most importantly, there is a special section on the Western Ghat species since Raigad District falls within this Biodiversity Hotspot where many species are on the verge of extinction. The garden plays host to over 500 native species of plants, some of which are extremely rare and unique with saplings having been procured from across India.
Every design element introduced in the garden also serves as an educational tool. Light shades have been specially designed and hand-crafted to represent different seed pods of native plants such as Calotropis seed pathway lights, Lotus cluster lights, Red Silk Cotton street lights and Catechu hanging lights. A wide selection of different leaf types and structures have been laser cut in vitrified tiles and embedded on the lid of the water tank.
The entrance of the garden is adorned with an 8 foot tall hand-carved Deepmaal, a traditional lamp stand, to signify the local custom to welcome all guests with lights. Adjoining the Deepmaal is a unique art sculpture of a dragon fly fitted onto a hand pump which has been created from scrap metal and waste materials to convey the concept of “wealth from waste”.
We hope you will visit all sections of the garden and learn more about native plant species while observing the creative design elements introduced into this lush green native biodiversity garden.
To know more about the project, visit www.spbiodiversitygardens.com