Group of 32 nature buffs joined us in Navi Mumbai’s own ‘ Valley of Flowers’ in Kharghar Valley’. The group encountered different types of wildflowers as well as other wildlife such as Moon Moth, Monitor Lizard, Spectacled Cobra. There were large patches of Cockscomb which was entwined with Wild Moong and Pink Ipomea. Tiny yellow flowers of Smithia were growing along the pathways. The late blooming Large yellow flowers of Mallow were closed in the early hours but opened up once the sun was shinning bright. Along the rocky patches the Spiral ginger were blooming. The highlight among the flowers was the Pink Sopobia which was seen growing among the grasses. This seasonal herb is a root parasitic plant feeding on grass roots. Number of birds and butterflies were active too. Overall it was a fun-filled, flowery and exhausting trail.
Group of local citizens walked across a small unknown and untouched pathways of the Green Valley Park Belapur... The mini forest with flowing streams, mountains and trees residing in a heart of a city was a Llovely Sunday surprise... iNaturewatch organisation had organised an Insect Safari for local citizens and we were amazed to see people from wide range of age group.. from children to adults... The group of 25 witnessed many species of moths, butterflies, bugs, caterpillars, bees and much more... not just insects but also various types of beautiful formation of fungi ...were seen ... The Insect Safari did not end as just a walks for only insects but a safari with many other species joining in too !!
iNaturewatch Foundation organised a Monsoon Trail for Standard Chartered Bank as a part of their employee volunteering on 21 Sep 2019.. It was a Hidden Trail guided by locals. The group was amazed by the tribal creativity, evident from the Tree Houses built in the scenic place... The event started with an introduction by Mr Suraj Das, a wildlife enthusiast who was leading the trail for the day... On the trail route we were delighted to sight species like Common Tree Frog, Fulgorid Leaf Hopper, Lichen Moth, Tricoloured Pied Butterfly, Mathura Tussock Moth and many more... There were activities like Natures Detective, Calculating Carbon Content of a Tree.... The bankers lived a life of an environmentalist for the day !!! The group was touched by tribal hospitality and ate food on banana leaves making everyone closer to their roots... The trail was a detox experience with witnessing the importance of each species and the royalty of nature
Urban Haat which not only is famous for it's art and cultural festivals that takes place throughout the year but has a small mini forest ...
iNaturewatch Foundation conducted a habitat restoration programme in collaboration with KPMG. This event was participated by the 78 volunteers of KPMG and 60 school students from Taloja school. All the volunteers and the students were divided into groups where they carried various nature restoration activities like de-weeding, mulching around the plants, making 400 plant clipping of Wedelia a butterfly attracting plant and planting them in the trail pathway, made bee and birds homes using recycled pet bottles and oil cans and got them installed on the trees near the trail and in the butterfly gardens, made bug hotels and a bonus was the nature trail where they got to see the different types of birds, bees, insects and learned various stories and mythologies on the trees present in Urban Haat. The day ended with a happy note exploring, learning and spending time in caring for the nature for our better tomorrow. .
This period when nature covers itself with a green blanket, iNaturewatch Foundation organised a Monsoon Trail for Standard Chartered Bank as a part of their employee volunteering on 21 Sep 2019.. It was a Hidden Trail guided by locals. The group was amazed by the tribal creativity, evident from the Tree Houses built in the scenic place... On the trail route we were delighted to sight species like Common Tree Frog, Fulgorid Leaf Hopper, Lichen Moth, Tricoloured Pied Butterfly, Mathura Tussock Moth and many more... There were activities like Natures Detective, Calculating Carbon Content of a Tree.... The bankers lived a life of an environmentalist for the day !!! The group was touched by tribal hospitality and ate food on banana leaves making everyone closer to their roots... The trail was a detox experience with witnessing the importance of each species and the royalty of nature... .
This was the third walk of the day happening in third city for employees of Standard Chartered Bank. A small group of people managed to attend this walk which was led by WWF- Kolkatta. Dr. Saswati Sen and Aneesha conducted a birding tour inside CKB Sanctuary. The highlight was the beeehive of Rock Honeybees. While it was humid and hot, participants were hassled by the relentless mosquitoes. They did manage to conduct the field activities but mosquitoes made them difficult to concentrate so the event got winded by lunch time.
we conducted a full day monsoon safari for employees of Standard Chartered Bank. A group of 40 members travelled the hidden nature trail at the foothills of Karnala Bird Sanctuary. The beauty of this trail was that it is a tribal route and the group enjoyed the hospitality of tribal homestay on a machan and food served in traditional manner. The trail was led by Isaac Kehimkar, Wilma D’Cunha and Suraj Das. Besides the exhausting 4.5 hr nature trail, the group engaged into field activities of studying biodiversity of a given plot, became nature detective and also estimated carbon stored in the forest trees. It was overall enthralling day for entire group. (Photo Credits: Suraj Das, Zorean Zoe, Isaac Kehimkar)
In continuation to our monsoon treks and nature trails for Standard Chartered Employees, we conducted our first full day nature trail at Polo Forest, in outskirts of Ahmedabad. A small group of 14 corporate employees were led by our local site partner, Dr. Santosh Yadav. While the pictures speaks for itself but it was an enthralling experience for the participants. The variety of habitats inside the Polo Forest gives Sahyadris like feeling. The highlight of the trail was sighting of Chameleon which is otherwise rarely seen. Besides have forest fun, the participants diligently carried our activities such as estimation of carbon inside trees, also calculated biodiversity of a given plot. They also had fun in participating in wildlife quiz. In short, in a single day they gathered 6-month knowledge in one strike. Thanks to Dr. Santosh Yadav who took care of entire programme very efficiently.
A review visit was done on 28 August 2019 in the Butterfly Habitat that was developed last in October in collaboration with DCB Bank and Ladybird Environmental Consulting LLP. The Butterfly Habitat here has turned into a small mini forest making the place look greener. The mortality recorded was 10.28% with 2514 plants surviving out of 2774 during the last review visit on March 2019. Some of the plants like Lantana, Periwinkle, Curry leaves and Peacock were affected due to the heavy rains while some of the other plants like Wedelia and Bryophyllum had regenerated in large no's. The butterflies sightings have also increase but on the review visit we couldn't find many species due to the cloudy climate but still could see 10-12 butterfly species and caterpillars.
Volunteers from Oracle came for the volunteering program at the Nizampet Lake. Total 6 volunteers came for the activity. The program started at 8 am. They started with shore plantation. They planted 100 saplings of Fountain grass and 50 plants of Jamaican spike.
A group of 17 nature enthusiasts from Oracle- Pune developed Pune’s first bug hotel at Symbiosis College in their Lavale campus. Two bug hotels were created in the butterfly garden which was developed by us. The group collected natural raw materials to create nooks and crannies for insects to inhabit. They worked for an hour and half to create four storey bug hotel. The team used their own imagination of developing the bug hotel from whatever resources they had at their disposal. The outcome of their team work was beautiful piece of work. Ms. Shilpa Awate and her team provided a wonderful support which helped in smooth execution of our work. The participants expressed that it was a new activity which changed their perception towards insects. They found the activity very engrossing which made them to ignore their phone. They also felt connected to nature and the child in them. They pledged to create one for their company premises as well
Total 17 employees had participated inspite of the heavy rains in Mumbai. It was a very amazing experience for each one to make it to the top of the fort. The group was lead by Ms. Wilma DCunha. The journey started early in the morning from Mumbai through the beautiful mountains and scenic ways through Lonavala. The trek started from the base village Malavli to the top of the one of the twin fort Visapur. The participants made it through the fort and were overjoyed.
A small group of volunteers teemed together to fill a large furrow on the pathway. The furrow was atleast 5 ft wide and 12 feet long. The volunteers strategically started filling the gap with stones and soil. They formed human chain to collect washed away stones from down stream. Eventually they were successful in filling up the gap. We are now hopeful that in another torrential rains when the water will gush down, soil from uphill would get trapped converting it into a walkable platform. We also reviewed our previous works, we found the trail borders were broken in some patches and also the pond boundary has been dismantled. However most of the work is intact including sprouting of seed balls. We identified spots for our future interventions
We conducted a trek for the employees of Standard Chartered Bank to Visapur Fort. 47 employees had participated inspite of the heavy rains in Mumbai. It was a very amazing experience for each one to make it to the top of the fort. The group was lead by Ms. Wilma DCunha. The journey started early in the morning from Mumbai through the beautiful mountains and scenic ways through Lonavala. The trek started from the base village Malavli to the top of the one of the twin fort Visapur. The participants made it through the fort and were overjoyed. Special thanks for the volunteering group Mr. Raghuram, Mr. Ganesh, Mr. Vinay, Ms. Preeti and Mr. Rohan.
We celebrated the National Moth Week in Navi Mumbai at Vishwajyot High School in Kharghar. The event was attended by 50 students from 7th & 8th grade. Also few members of general public also attended this free event. The event began with sunset by setting up the light sheet at the school entrance gate. Thereafter an interactive PowerPoint presentation was conducted on introduction to moths. The students thoroughly enjoyed the session as they enjoyed guessing which is a moth and which is a butterfly, or where is the head or tail or looking for a moth in pile of leaves. The session left them enough charged up to explore moths. Thereafter they were taken to the light sheet and explained its mechanism. We then conducted a quiz on moths which was again enjoyed by the students. The enthusiasm shown by the students proved that the event left them thoroughly enchanted.
We conducted season’s first insect walk which received overwhelming response from over 40 participants which included children from 6 years to senior citizens. It was one group of insect lovers who relished every experience of watching the insects. Be it a tiny fly or a large butterfly, their enthusiasm was unbiased and unimaginable. Several parents attended the event because their children were fond of insect. Over the years the insect diversity of this forest had dwindled but nevertheless whatever insects were present, they baffled the audiences beyond their expectations. We used magnifying jars which did the whole trick of gluing people to insects . Participants enjoyed observing insects at close quarters. The walk led by Isaac Kehimkar, Dr. Shubhalaxmi and Wilma D’Cunha. It was overall a exhilarating experience of interacting with audiences which was so pro insects.
A nature trail and restoration activity was conducted for 50 students from Taraben School, Santacruz along with 25 employee volunteers from KPMG. The purpose of the visit was to study the monsoon changes happening the Kharghar Valley with an addttion of a restoration activity, as a result a good amount pathway repairs and checkdams were built along the streams. We were supported by our team of 8 volunteers who helped in conducting this event for us.
A Forest Walk was conducted at Green Valley Park at CBC Belapur in which was attended by 14 participants.Green Valley Park is nestled between Parsik Hills, in the heart of the industrial area of CBD Belapur, is 50 hectares of wilderness maintained by CIDCO. he forest walk was led by Mr. Suraj Das and Ms. Sonia Benjamin. The walk started by 7.30 and ended at 10.00 am. There were decent sightings of butterfly, mushrooms, wild plants, spiders, beetles, centipedes and milipedes, caterpillars. In all, the people enjoyed the walk as it was a different experience of walking in the natural forest and we need to appreciate nature.
As part of our ongoing Kharghar Valley Restoration Project , 6 volunteers carried out a short Tourist Perception survey. Altogether 26 respondents took the survey which included 6 women and 20 men between the age group of 20-40. They were mostly locals as well as coming from far off places. They also expressed that visitors should carry back their own trash or there need to be mechanism where plastic and glass bottles are not allowed while entering the Valley and complete ban of vehicles on the trails. Additionally 70% of respondents agreed to become volunteers for our ongoing project.
A group 12 enthusiastic volunteers teamed up to continue development of check dams across streams, edging of pathway and pond, plantation of seed balls. The team successfully completed all works that we planned to be completed before rains. Now on we will be working extensively on creating more check dams and creating awareness among the monsoon revelers who throng this place in hundreds.
8 volunteers teamed up inspite of heavy rains to continue the restoration works at the Kharghar Valley. They identified a deep cleft on a rocky slope which was filled with stones to slow down the water flow and arrest soil erosion. We hope our small steps will stop the abuse of fertile top soil of the hills. The group later planted seed balls of Pongam and Laburnum along the trail, we are hopeful some may sprout.
A Marine walk was conducted in which 29 people participated. Before the walk there was orientation by Mr. Isaac Kehimkar as to why we are doing this walk and the whole purpose to it. The walk was conducted into groups one lead Along with the walk two activities were also conducted like microplastic survey and crab hole count. Overall the people enjoyed the walks and found it to very informative. Many of them were not aware of the fact that there is a beach called as Chimbai..!! They were amazed by the number of different species which were sighted.They also realised the intensity of plastic pollution which is harming the natural water bodies including Chimbai beach. This was definitely one fruitful Sunday for everyone...!!!
A brown to green walk was conducted to explore the journey of forest floor changing from brown to green at the Kharghar Valley. The participants learnt about monsoon flora and about their faster metabolism rates. They saw Crinum lilies, wild grapes, wild banana, Leea, Pancratiums, wild turmeric and more.
The volunteer team of Kharghar successfully restored 1 km long pathway on the Kharghar Valley. In two consecutive Sundays a team of 10 volunteers built this stretch. The trail need to be extended further, if the rains don’t come soon then we will work on it further next week.
A group of 15 volunteers teamed up to develop the nature trail at Kharghar Valley. They primarily created small trenches along the pathway, thereafter they laid small stones into the trenches. The trail edges were then planted with the seed balls of wildflowers. These seed balls were prepared last month. Thanks to our untiring volunteers who take our time every week do to their bit. We are hopeful these seeds will sprout and make a flowery nature trail for future 💐
Our volunteer tribe for Kharghar Valley is steadily growing. This time 11 volunteers were a part of the contour buidling to build three large checkdams along the slopes of Kharghar Valley. We managed to build 7 contour bunds and one stream checkdam in Kharghar Valley.
A group of seven volunteers teamed up to build contour bunds along the slopes of Kharghar Valley. The activity involved identifying spots, digging trenches, collecting stones and building the bunds. group identified spots for building the bunds. They then collected stones, dug trenches and laid out the stones. These bunds will help in trapping soil, water and wild seeds to build a mini ecosystem of their own.
A clean up drive was conducted at Bhandup Pumping for STARBUCKS employees.The activity started with an introduction and nature trail to get the employees closer to the environment. The clean up drive was conducted by two groups and the waste collected was segregated into recyclable and non recyclable waste. In all, 165 kgs of trash was collected. Despite the heat all volunteers did a good job and enjoyed the trail and found the entire experience informative and different from their regular routine was a first for them too .
International Biological Diversity Day was celebrated by conducting a pre-monsoon biodiversity survey at Kharghar Valley. Four volunteers were a part of this early morning survey. In two hours, 25 species of birds (78 individuals), 26 species of plants (100 individuals), 4 species of insects (50 individuals) and 2 species of lizards (8 individuals) were recorded. The most common bird was Indian Robin while most abundant was Jungle Quail which had more than 10 birds in a flock. The less common was Red Whiskered Bulbul. Most common as well as abundant plant was Kala Umbar ( Ficus hispida) and less common plant was Fire Bush. Among insects Antlions pits were most common and abundant i.e. 48. We plan to conduct such surveys periodically with help of volunteers.
A group of six enthusiastic volunteers came together and made seed balls of the seeds collected two weeks back from Kharghar Valley. The seed balls were prepared in the soil mdeium by mixing it with manure and then dusting it with cocopeat, after which they were kept in the sun to dry. The volunteers made 600 seed balls in a span of 3 hours.The seed balls will be grown into young saplings during rains and replant them this year or next year at the Kharghar Valley site.
As a pert of the ecological restoration of Kahrghar Valley initiative, a seed collection drive was conducted at Kharghar valley on 5th May 2019. 4 enthusiastic volunteers were a part of this drive which was led by Dr. v. Shubhalaxmi and Mr. Isaac Kehimkar. Along the 700 m trail dry fruits of 12 species, mainly of herbs, shrubs and trees was collected. The next step will be remove seeds from the fruits and prepare seed balls and then plant them in a sapling bag.
A clean up drive involving the cleaning up of debris from the dry NIzampet Lake bed in Hyderabad was conducted for a group of 27 employee volunteers from Oracle Hyderabad. Before the clean up a nature trail was conducted around the dry lake where we had planted over 5000 butterfly, bird, bee and bat attracting plants. They collected 40 bags which will be disposed with the local municipal corporation. Later the group also helped in adding soil and manure to the existing plants.
Clean up drive was conducted at Chittlapakkam lake, Chennai for 21 employee volunteers from Oracle and local community members . A brief introduction about the Chittalapakkam Lake and its importance and current issues in the water body was given before the clean up. A bird watching session was also conducted. In total 35 bags ( 21 of non-biodegradable & 14 recyclable) of waste was collected. The collected waste sent for disposal at local municipal corporation centre. The event was organized with help of our local partner Indo-American Wildlife Society which is headed by Dr. Chelliah. At the end of the event, everybody enjoyed a healthy brunch in an ecofriendly way.
30 enthusiastic employees from Oracle celebrated Earthday Day by cleaning up Kharghar hills and Kharghar driving range road. The programme started with a nature trail celebrating the theme of Earthday- Protect the species. Thereafter the teams go into dirtying their hands in collecting segregated waste.Altogether they collected 147.7 kg(108 mixed waste, 5.7 kg. plastic, 23 kg.glass). The waste was disposed in nearby public garbage dustbin. The segregated waste were given to ragpicker. The event concluded with a sumptuous lunch served in eco friendly plates. Indeed a satisfying sunny day that was well spent.
A group of 25 volunteers from Oracle-Pune gathered at Pashan Lake for a clean up drive. The group was led by Mr. Arvind Patole. They met at 8 am and after brief introduction, a nature trail along the northern side of the lake was conducted. The volunteers learnt about water birds, their behaviour and so on. The team felt that the walk through the thick canopy completely refreshed them and that nature trails just like music releases all the tension of the hectic day to day work schedule. After returning from the trail we freshen up and then started the cleaning event.The team was very excited and this excitement remained throughout the event, They enjoyed the event and had smile on their face when cleaning the area of plastics and other wastes. The segregated waste was collected by municipal corporation.
A group 30 enthusiastic volunteers from Oracle-Bangalore teamed up with Bangalore Forest Dept. to clean up the trash accumulated due to religious celebrations of Ramnavi inside the Bannerghata National Park. It was a hot sunny day which didn't the spirit young volunteers who believed in doing something good for the forest and its wildlife. The team's spirit to clean up the mess, pilgrims and picnickers, left behind was taken up as a challenge. It started with a nature walk. The walk sensitized the participants about the scrub forest biodiversity. It was followed by the cleaning up of the litter in the three kilometer stretch. Plastics and liquor bottles were abundant. It was an opportunity for the participants to understand the challenges of conservation.
On 27th March 2019, a free nature trail was conducted for the 58 students of Vishwajyot School, Kharghar which was sponsored by United Way Mumbai and led by Mr. Issac Kehimkar and Ms. Preeti Dalvi. The students had a great experience learning and knowing more about nature and enjoyed the trail.
On 20 March 2019, we conducted free mangrove walk for 17 students of SIES College, Nerul at Coastal and Marine Biodiversity Centre, Airoli. The walk was sponsored by United Way Mumbai and conducted by Preeti Dalvi. Students had a great time with us
A creek watch for conducted for 14 enthusiast participants. The walk was led by Dr V. Shubhalaxmi and Isaac Kehimkar. The walk was not only focused on the migratory birds but also on surrounding mangroves. There were lots of bird activities in the creek. We saw different types of migratory and local birds like Flamingos, Pied Avocets, Spoonbills, Cormorants, Gulls, Ibis, Western Reef Heron, Black Winged Stilts, Painted Storks and so many other birds. All over the participants enjoyed the walk and found it informative.
We conducted a guided boat ride for a private group of 19 participants. The boat ride and Mangrove Walk was led by Ms. Preeti Dalvi. Different bird species like Pied Avocet, Terns, Sea Gulls, Dowitchers, Black Winged Stilts and of course thousands of Greater and Lesser Flamingos. Kids enjoyed the boating. After boating we went for the mangrove walk there we saw different types of mangroves and some of them were flowering. The programme ended with the visit to Interpretation center and short film, screening
We conducted a boat ride for 4th batch of K.G. students and teachers of Ascend International School, BKC. The children had a great time watching flamingos and a lot of questions. After the ride, we went for 'Interpretation Centre' visit and screening of a short film. you.
As part of the World Wetlands Day, today we conducted a creek walk when we had good sightings of f birds, flowers and mangroves. We saw different types of Mangroves like red mangrove, grey mangrove, Meswak, Mangrove Beanstalk and lot more. A good number of birds were seen like curlew, green shank, bar-tailed godwit, pied avocet, black-wing stilt, purple heron, whimbrel, open bill stork, spoonbill, black-headed ibis and common sandpiper. Participants were from Navi Mumbai as well as Mumbai
We conducted Mangrove trail for 52 students of IES School, Bhandup for 8th standard students of both marathi and english medium. We had mangrove trail along the mangrove patch of the centre and also visited mangrove interpretation centre. The programme was sponsored by United way, Mumbai and conducted by Preeti Dalvi, Wilma Dcunha, Ashwini Pawar and Pooja Talekar. Students had a great time with us and enjoyed the mangrove trail.
We conducted mangrove awareness session for 55 students of Swami Vivekananda Jr. College, Koperkhairane. The talk was sponsored by United Way Mumbai and was conducted by Dr. V. Shubhalaxmi. All together students enjoyed the session with positive feedback.
We conducted mangrove awareness session for 98 students of MKES School, Kandivali. The talk was sponsored by United Way Mumbai and was conducted by Wilma D'Cunha. All the 7th standard students enjoyed the session with positive feedback.
We conducted a boat ride for 84 K.G. students and teachers of Ascend International School in batches. Children had a great time watching flamingos with lots of questions. After the ride, we went for 'Interpretation Centre' visit and a short film.
We conducted free mangrove walk for the students of SIES College, Sion at Talawe Wetland, Seawoods. The walk was sponsored by United Way Mumbai. The walk was conducted by Ms. Preeti Dalvi and Ms. Wilma D'cunha. All the 21 participants enjoyed the mangrove walk and had a great learning experience.
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