|Did You Know?
Less than two decades ago, when land was first acquired by Amrita, this 350-acre campus had a completely different terrain. Vegetation was thin and the land was dry and covered with thorny shrubs. Today the lush, green campus has nearly one lakh trees!!
Approximate details of tree sizes are also provided.
|There are over one lakh trees on this campus !!!|
Housing the largest collection of trees in South India, our campus today is known for its extensive collection of tree species. Nearly 150 species belonging to over 50 tree families can be found. Most trees are indigenous to the region, but there are also a few exotic trees brought here from other countries.
Today, there are one lakh trees on this campus. Massive numbers of trees were planted over a six-year period, 1996-2002. Seeds and tree saplings were obtained from forest departments, institutes and nurseries. This large-scale tree planting, in turn, fostered the growth and development of supporting life forms on campus, both flora and fauna. Today the campus enjoys a rich biodiversity not just in trees, but also in numerous kinds of plants, birds and animals. A entirely new ecosystem of life has been created.
The campus lies at the foot hills of the Western Ghats. Thorny scrub jungles and dry deciduous forests line this area, known as the Ayyamalai Ranges. This is a semi-arid region with scarce rainfall. As such, water for irrigation is obtained from recycling waste water in the campus. Effluent treatment plants set up for this purpose, use Effective Microbes (EM), and this circumvents the need for chemicals. In addition, the dense tree cover helps conserve water through natural means.
Because of saplings donated to villagers, the tree cover has also extended to the hills bordering the campus. This tree cover has led to a drop by over five degrees in the average recorded temperature of the region. It is no wonder then, that the campus has become a preferred destination for even students of state agricultural universities, who make frequent field trips to study and document characteristics of the wide variety of trees. Many others simply visit to admire the magnificent wonder of the campus.
Developing the Trees Database
Tree documentation was made possible by Dr. D. Kannan, Center for Environmental Studies. This activity was undertaken in close association with the Kerala Forest Research Institute.
The Center would like to acknowledge the efforts of Shri. M. G. Santhosh, Technical Staff, ECE Department and Mr. Abhilash Damodharan, student of M.Sc. (Forestry) at Forest College, Mettuppalayam who played key roles in the effort to identify and document the names of all the trees.