Maharashtra Nature Park-A Green Emerald of Mumbai City
Established with the aim to provide education and to generate awareness about Nature Conservation, Maharashtra Nature Park (MNP) with its wonderful settings and rich biodiversity makes ideal place for this purpose.
Developed on an erstwhile garbage dumping ground area, MNP has vast expenses of manmade forest and its also surrounded by the natural ecosystem of the mangrove forests of Mithi River.
Maintained strictly to conserve its Natural Heritage (with the focus to conserve all life forms those who have made Nature Park their home), while on visit to MNP every visitor fails to remember that he is still very much in the heart of the city.
Visitors eager to come here again and again are vouching that Nature Park makes ideal place to study biodiversity and to learn Nature ethics in absolute relaxed atmosphere.
History of MNP:
In March 1997 the Government of Maharashtra had appointed Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) as a special Planning Authority for the development of Bandra – Kurla Complex (BKC).
In June 1997 the MMRDA had published Planning proposal of BKC and invited suggestion and objections.
After formation of MMRDA the World – Wide Fund for Nature India (WWF – I) had approached MMRDA with the suggestion that a suitable area should be reserve in “H” Block of Bandra – Kurla Complex for the development of “Maharashtra Nature Park – formerly known Mahim Nature Park (MNP)”.
Accordingly, an area of 37 acres was included in the Planning proposal submitted by MMRDA to Government of Maharashtra for the development of BKC. The Government of Maharashtra had sanctioned the planning proposal in the year 1979.
In September 1979 Urban development department of Government of Maharashtra had set up a Project Group under MMRDA for the development of MNP.
After the detailed study of the area, the Project Group had submitted its report to the government in June 1982.
After careful consideration the Government of Maharashtra had decided that MMRDA should take the responsibility of the implementation of the project and required funds of the Project and required funds be provided out of the State Government grants to MMRDA.
On the request of MMRDA, World Wide Fund for Nature India took up the mammoth task of the cleaning the site and planting it with trees etc. The world-famous ornithologist Dr. Salim Ali was first to plant a sapling here at MNP in the year 1983. Then after, the keys plantation drive was pick up the children, mainly the students from schools and colleges. They helped in planting the saplings and nurturing them till they become trees. This is how these woodland came into existence.
In January, 1984 MMRDA approves the block estimates for MNP. Accordingly tree planting and construction of Education Centre Building where taken in the hand.
In March, 1987 Five Endemic trees Banyan, Palas, Amba, Peepal and Umber where planted in MNP in the presence of Dr. Salim Ali.
The two main section of the park are:
- A thick Wooded area and
- An Education centre for urban inhabitants, particularly school and college children promote Ecology and Nature conservation.
The revenue and forest department of Government of Maharashtra wide its notification dated 16th March,1991 declares MNP and the adjoining area of 180 ha to be a “Protected Forest” under the Indian Forest Act, 1927.
Subsequently, other infrastructures feature like Education Centre, serpentine brick line trail ways, fencing, water storage, reservoir and nursery were added to the before it was presented to the citizens.
The park was declared open to the people on 22nd April 1994-“Vasundhara Divas-World Earth Day”. The park is now converted into an Environment Education Park and thousands of students as well as visitors visit the park every year for the study of Nature and Environment related issues.
Managing a garbage Dumping site is a global problem now for almost all the countries. MNP being a trend settingsolutions for this problem. People from different cities and various countries pay special visit to the park to see the efforts and to experience the effects. The efforts made here are well appreciated by all the people including dignitaries and the scientific community across the world.
The activities run by the Park, of creating awareness about Environment Education and Nature Education are worth supporting.
Now the Park has became a symbol of “Hope for better Environment tomorrow” for the city of Mumbai.
Theme and Aims of MNP :
In the year 1990 MNP had as its theme:
“There is Web of life
We are part of it”.
The Parks Aims:
- To provide the citizens of Mumbai a quick change to relatively green and unpolluted area.
- To educate the people, particularly children in Ecology and Nature Conservation.
Maharashtra Nature Park Society:
In May 1992, as MMRDA does not possess the necessary experience and expertise in managing Nature Park and Educational Centres and WWF-I’s direct experience of actually managing a Nature Park is little, MMRDA decides to form Society named “Maharashtra Nature Park Society (MNPS)” under the Societies Registration Act, 1860, directly under the MMRDA and approved the Memorandum of Association and Rules of the MNPS.
In 5th June, 1992 MNPS had been registered as Society under the Presidentship of Chief Secretary to Govt. of Maharashtra. The Board of Governor consist of 13 member which includes Secretory to various Govt. Departments like Forest, Environment, Urban Development and School Education, The Municipal Commissioner, MCGM, the Metropolitan commissioner, MMRDA, two Trustees from World-Wide Fund for nature (I) and four eminent persons in the field of Environment Education, Botany, Marine and landscaping to be nominated by this Executive committee, MMRDA.