Greener Homes, Greener Lives

Gardening has always been part of the 'Dream Life', the dream that included a small back yard with a flower bed and a vegetable patch and a lush lawn between the two. For a long time, the dream was a reality for a number of us city dwellers, but as our city has grown this dream has taken the backseat.
In our quest to make this city grow, we've encroached on all available open spaces and with this, the back yards were the first to go. The next domino to topple over were the gardens and then the parks, walking tracks and soon the play grounds were soon to follow. Today open spaces are either a luxury shared by a privileged few or a bane when used as a make shift dumping ground. 
With all this shortage of space, gardening has never been upgraded to our 21st-century lifestyle, something that Julius Rego has been working towards. So in order to combat this shortage of space, Julius has asked us to redefine what we consider to be "Space", urging us to let go of our preco…

Birdwatchers' Haven

Jessica Luis

You don't have to look very far to see birds in Gujarat! This makes it one of the best places to hold the Global Bird Watchers' Conference, where people from all over India and the world come to see these winged wonders. We too attended this fourth edition of the Conference and it did prove to be a grand experience!
The first thing you see (and hear!) when you step out of the Ahmedabad station is hundreds of noisy Rosy Starlings. These tiny birds that come here for the winter, fly around in huge flocks that look almost like a small tornado; and we all stopped to admire this show of aerial acrobatics. It’s amazing how they fly almost in synchronization, without banging into each other in midair! Even the trees were FULL of Rosy Starlings, and so are the corners of station roofs.

Last year we were lucky enough to see a flock of critically endangered Sociable Lapwings, Devyani had written about it on the GreenLine blog. This year we were wondering what surprises awaite…

World Wetland Day

Kaustubh Bhagat 
Hi friends... Just wanted to ask, do you know what is tomorrow? Yes, I know it is a Sunday and you might want to laze around. But tomorrow is also 2 February, which is observed as World Wetlands Day. What are wetlands and why this day, you may ask?
Wetlands are areas like marshes, peats, estuaries or where water can be static or flowing. They can be artificial or natural in origin, as well as perennial or seasonal. These include areas with fresh or brackish water, as well as marine areas where depth of water does not exceed six metres in low tide. The wetlands include ecosystems like mangroves, coral reefs, flood plains and even rice fields.
The wetlands are one of the most productive ecosystems on earth. A study by Constanza and histeamshows that the wetlands provide us ecosystem services worth USD 4.9 trillion. These services include fisheries, agriculture, water resource, flood plain control, just to name a few. However, wetlands are under tremendous pressure due to r…

Tree Revival Campaign: Wadala Edition

"As we progress, most of us have a tendency of forgetting the older and sometimes crucial necessities of life. One of the things we have forgotten is the trees that have been there since forever in our neighbourhoods. It's time we rediscover the trees around us," said Father Savio Silveira as he kicked off the latest Tree Revival campaign workshop on 27th September.

Around a hundred students from six schools close to Five Gardens had gathered at St. Joseph's High School  for the Wadala edition of the Tree Revival Campaign conducted by Ekonnect and GreenLine. We were also joined by college students from the Rotaract Club of Ruia, who pitched in as volunteers, and Julius Rego with his team from Green Souls. And of course, there were the tree experts who would go along with the students to map the trees they saw.  Father Savio also talked about the trees in our surroundings and how we usually take them for granted. He talked about how it's important to learn about …

Trekking around Tadoba

by Jessica Luis
Tadoba Tiger Reserve is the oldest National Park in Maharashtra. It was declared a tiger reserve way back in 1935. Apart from being home to around a whopping 60 tigers, you will also find diverse wildlife like leopards, sloth bears, gaur, wild dogs, Indian Muggers, civets and many species of deer.
Like all national parks, Tadoba is divided into a core and a buffer where you find most villages. But these boundaries don't mean that humans and animals are separated in compartments, humans outside the forest and animals inside. Both end up having to share the same space. And when you stay so close to the forest, you're definitely going to have VERY close encounters with the animals that live in it.

Earlier in September, a few of us volunteered for a conflict survey at Tadoba, where we had to go to around 200 villages near the forest and talk to tribals staying there, about animals they had seen coming into their villages or crop fields, and whether those animals c…