“We roped in volunteers through social media to develop green cover along the lake spread over 90 acres. The saplings planted under Miyawaki method in three phases since 2018 have all grown up to 15 feet and the region now has a dense forest cover,” said R Manikandan of ‘Kovai Kulangal Paathukappu Amaippu,’ which spearheaded the afforestation drive.
Volunteers have been turning up at the lake every Sunday to take up restoration of the waterbody by clearing unwanted vegetation, desilting, and improving its vegetation. “For about 163 weeks our volunteers work on the lake’s restoration and towards the afforestation drive. Our works have only been halted since March end due to COVID-19. We are desperately waiting for the situation to get normal to resume similar conservation works,” he added.
“There is an increased arrival of birds to the lake. Also, one could spot rabbits and porcupines in more numbers. There is even a visible change in the weather pattern in its surrounding areas as the air has become moist and cool due to presence of dense vegetation,” said Manikandan.
The Amaippu has been working with the objective of planting at least 16000 saplings around Vellalore lake and more in and around the city. Because of their efforts the tank got filled up with the flow from Noyyal last year during the monsoon after about 15 years.