Meet Joss Brooks, who through his brand of restoration ecology has given Chennai an unimaginable makeover. For Joss Brooks Adyar Park is another restoration story, his early success stories include Auroville of Pondicherry. Once he had the contract his team removed 60,000 tons of garbage and rubble from the site. He created water-bodies, and around them planted 90,000 seedlings of 172 indigenous species on 300 tons of laterite soil brought from Auroville. It has an Environmental Education Center, and a children’s interactive area. The nursery has specimens for medicinal plants, models for solid-waste management and renewable energy. Standing stones have been painted with beaks and bird feet. The Park has breathing space for insects and animals to breed and colonize, and plants to establish themselves Joss sees Adyar Park as an environment- education tool. “We started organizing exhibitions and visits for children. We talked to the people around not to throw garbage. If the water flowing into the Park is to be clean, streets have to be clean, garbage has to be separated. It is a residential area, so the involvement of local people is essential,” he says. “I am not a scientist,” he claims, so think of him as one whose dreams are painted a bright green. In his “magical process”, the eco-restoration will leave the tidal water coming in under Santhome causeway sparkling clean.
Children will swim in the Buckingham Canal and people will cycle to work along a sweet smelling Otteri nullah. “Just imagine!” he says, “Chennai could be a city of clean waterways and lakes.” He was thrilled to spot a painted stork That came calling for the first time, on his birthday. Species of animals and birds are regular visitors now. He says proudly, “Here’s a wild space in the middle of the metropolis, giving a bit of Chennai back to Mother Nature.”
Chennai has its own Central Park theme now (Like Central Park NY) for its folks who desperately need one such park to cool their heels, Eco park will be a welcome break and i wish more such projects would be taken up in the future by Mr. Joss Brooks and make Chennai a living paradise.
Pic & Content Courtesy: The Hindu