Viral Desai, a renowned businessman and environmentalist and now popularly known as Green Man of India, has successfully created the first Urban Forest of Indian Railways through his ‘Hearts of Work Foundation.’ Using the popular Miyawaki-style this urban and micro forest has been created near Udhna RPF Colony in Surat in just seven months. More than 1,100 native species of trees were planted in this premises.
In a short span of just seven months after the inauguration of this urban forest, also known as the ‘Shahid Smriti Van’ the Martyr’s Memorial Forest, the atmosphere of the entire area has undergone a major transformation. An ecosystem of more than 1,100 trees has sprung up in what was once a garbage dump a few months months ago. The forest has become the natural habitat to hundreds of species with many species of birds, squirrels or insects taking refuge there. The trees have contributed greatly in improving the air quality in the area which has now become a major oxygen chamber.
This urban forest is also planted with fruit bearing trees and drum stick tree (Sargvo) which makes it all the more exciting to go there for fruits as well as vegetables. As a part of its long-term commitment towards ecological sustainability, Hearts at Work Foundation has started this green initiative of building urban forests to provide citizens a healthier and happier lives.
Miyawaki method is developed by Japanese botanist, Akira Miyawaki, to restore native forests from seeds of native trees on very degraded soils which were deforested and without humus. Using ecological theories and the results of his experiments, he has quickly and successfully restored, sometimes over large areas, protective forests (disaster-prevention, environment-conservation and water-source-protection forests) at over 1,300 sites in Japan and various tropical countries, in particular in Pacific area in the form of shelterbelts, woodlands and woodlots, including urban, port and industrial areas.