The Sapling Project is back with round 5 in Mumbai. On January 26, the group’s core members and volunteers will be out on the streets distributing saplings to fellow Mumbaikars in a bid to increase the city’s green cover. Their agenda is to promote plantation, not only in forests and gardens, but also in buildings and residential areas.
“This time around, our mission is to distribute more saplings to even more people. We also want to rope in school children and senior citizen groups to promote the cause,” says Satish Vijaykumar, core member of The Sapling Project. The team has an initial target of
2,000 saplings that will be distributed from Shivaji Park and Dadar to Borivli.
While ashoka and neem will be the preferred choice of saplings to be handed out, as they are best suited for Mumbai’s soil and climate, the team is also thinking of adding mango and jamun to the mix. But is this a good time to plant trees? Vijaykumar feels so. “Yes, the weather is good enough till February to sustain the saplings.”
The Sapling Project doesn’t take money from people who wish to procure a sapling to plant in their area. However, those interested in making a donation to the cause are welcome to do so. Also, if people feel they don’t have the time to plant and care for a tree, members of the project can do so on one’s behalf at a nominal cost of Rs 20. “This way, you sponsor a tree and we take responsibility for it.” He adds that they prefer people planting these saplings in residential areas so that they are able to monitor and care for them.
Once planted, the sapling needs care for two years, though there really isn’t that much to do. All a small plant needs is a half-foot pit, good soil and water every alternate day at daytime to grow. So, ready to go green?