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[Chennai Trekking Club] Writeup : Ainthinai Tree walk for Students - Kotturpuram Tree Park - 13th July 2014

Wonder full Write up from Satish Kumar

Ainthinai - Tree Walk for Students - Kotturpuram Tree Park - 13th July 2014
When the invite for Tree Walk arrived in an email, as an enthusiast of flora and fauna I was excited to read about an event happening closer to home.Having read about Ainthinai & Nizhal, I expected it to be good, but how good ?
 - Worth sacrificing my Sunday morning late wake-up ? - In Kotturpuram park ?  - Are there that many trees to walk there ?
Confused & curious I registered my interest to attend.Armed with necessities, me and my family started to Kotturpuram Tree Park on 13th July 2014. Wanting to be punctual I was there 10 minutes early, but people were already gathered, says a lot about their enthusiasm and participation.
Never in my dreams would I have thought this place was a dump yard few years back, but the stench from beyond the compound double confirmed it.It was announced parents can join their children for the walk *yaay*

Prompt at 7 A.M, as announced the event started with Dr.Babu introducing himself quickly and attempting to capture the kid's attention with few jokes and basic questions.Apart from one or two kids the rest remained muted. Not giving-up hope Dr.Babu continued. After 10 minutes adults were laughing and the kids were at ease, Perfect!!!

With the ambience set, Dr.Babu started talking about the trees (sorry, each certainly do have a name) next to us, the significance of each one of them dotted with questions to prevent diversion of attention. Kids got interested and adults competed too.

The tree walk continued for the next 60 minutes, when Dr.Babu asked if we wanted to continue further, we didn't know what to say, legs were tired but the mind was not. The compromise was to visit one more tree (Dr.Babu extended it to two). 75 minutes later, anyone previously not, were now surely a tree hugger :)

Now for the grand finale, the kids unveiled their weapons (crayons, colouring pencils) and started drawing what their eyes saw, what their minds captured.Dr.Babu utilised this time and the relaxed atmosphere to talk about environment and activities of Nizhal to those who were interestingly probing him.

Finally we left the place with an aroused interest in the trees surrounding us and happy to have learnt something new. 
An email explaining what to wear, what to bring, parts of the event and a call from the organiser, confirming the event and the above was pure touch of professionalism.
The enthusiasm of organisers (Abirami & Sindhu) and volunteers was surely contagious. Well done.
Dr.Babu's knowledge and interest, involvement with the kids was inspiring.
Efforts of Nizhal to convert a dump yard into a beautiful park.
 Educational experience for the kids, learning about trees and nature in a fun way.
Of course the parents who registered and brought their kids, participated actively and quietly were the true heroes (and ultimate beneficiaries)
Wonderful effort by Ainthinai and Nizhal, sowing trees is important but sowing the seeds of knowledge is essential because kids today are tomorrow's Ainthinai or Nizhal members or the least a nature lover.

Team Ainthinai

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