Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Green sheen

Green sheen

Parks are central to our lives. We have very few left, but they are therapeutic, writes RESHMA KRISHNAMURTHY SHARMA

Photo: Murali Kumar k.

Mood elevator Parks play an important role as critical lung spaces

The green cover in Bangalore has been through a lot of changes and thankfully one of the forms it has managed to survive is in the form of parks. One cannot deny the importance of parks. It is not only an essential public space but also one of the visible signs of greenery.

From people who step out early mornings for their daily jog or a bunch of collegians who would like to catch up at a park or a group of housewives to senior citizens who find these parks the ideal place to unwind with or without their grandchildren and couples who look forward to get cosy ; parks are utilized by all age groups.

Whether people go to a park for health or to enjoy nature; parks play an important role as critical lung spaces in the city. Many residents agree that a park is welcome space.

Arun Pai of Bangalore WALKS says: “If you have noticed, most of the residential areas have had the history of housing parks from a long time. Even now you can find parks in a planned residential area as compared to a commercial area. A growing trend is also seen where builders recognise the need of a park for people and have started incorporating mini private parks within residential complexes.”

“The weather of Bangalore unlike most other cities is very conducive through the year for a person to spend time in parks either for a walk or jog or to chat up with friends. Moreover parks bring out that positive energy in you; I want people of Bangalore be proud of what we have in terms of greenery. It may not be what it was fifty years ago but everything is not lost. Going by the sheer numbers who throng Cubbon Park and Lalbagh we need to be satisfied with what the city has and try and improve it wherever we can.”

Says Nidhi Jain, a young mother, “It is because of my son that I go to a park in Vijayanagar. In fact, five years ago I was new to Bangalore and hardly knew anyone. When my son was a year old he would feel uncomfortable in the presence of many people . Soon I realised that a park was the ideal place for him to get used to people and I too needed company. Today, I have many friends from this park, most other moms get their children, so they get to play and we get to chat.”

According to Neeraj Parashar, a businessman, “It is only in the recent days that I have started going to parks for my morning walks just before I hit the gymnasium. The feeling of fresh air and watching other people exercising, is quite an inspiration.”

Echoing a similar point of view is Yashwini. P, an executive in a television channel says: “I regularly go to the Bugle Rock Park in the evenings. Unlike the vehicle-choked Bangalore roads, a park for me is a space where I completely unwind and have time for myself.”

With entertainment options in cities getting expensive by the day, spending time with family and friends in parks is becoming common sight. While the city can never be as green as it was, let us at least save what is left of it.

park bench

If you want carbon levels to sink, save parks.

The focus in most parks is on traditional trees including Gulmohar, Pongamia, Eucalyptus and Bougainvillea.

The two largest parks in the city are Lal Bagh and Cubbon Park. They are home to more than 1,000 species of plants including trees that are over a 100 years old.

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