Kharghar Valley Trail, Kharghar Driving Range, Near Golf Course , Road next to the Convent of Jesus & Mary High School & Jr. College, Opp to Navjivan Hospital, Sector 6, Kharghar, Navi Mumbai-410210.
Kharghar Valley Trail is a hidden trail at the end of Kharghar Golf Course in Kharghar, Navi Mumbai. The place magically transforms during monsoon. The route leads to a narrow, winding roadway with emerald-green hills on either side. Not only is this a great stretch to walk while getting drenched, but is also a nature lover’s paradise. It is an absolute delight to get away from the chaos of the city and find yourself in the heart of the hills. There are small rivulets of water gushing down from the hills which look like miniature waterfalls and the view of the city from the high points is breathtaking. On these hills monsoon is marked with emergence of wildflowers. They create a riot of colors in the bright green as they bloom and fruit profusely in the short monsoon season to complete their life cycles. These include a range of lilies such as Crinum lilies, Glory Lily, Hill turmeric, Pancratiums and more. Besides, this is also the time to see the wild vegetables such as wild yam, kantoli, cockscomb, pot cassia and other range of leafy vegetables; all these only grow in the wild and only during monsoon.
As the season changes, the magic fades so is the greenery. The hills adorn a bare and brown look during summer. The hills also suffer from forest fires rampantly, denuding the hills with whatever little vegetation is left. The ragged hill slopes awaits for rains to paint them green once again.
We have adopted the 700 m nature trail for restoration. We have been using it for our nature trails and feel morally responsible on saving it before it’s gone . It will be a year long project for us wherein we wish to engage local communities to extend their support through volunteering. Monsoon is when this trail transforms itself and that’s when it faces highest damage through trampling. We have been carrying out ecological, environmental and educational interventions starting from May 2019.
HOW YOU COULD HELP
This is a voluntary project of iNaturewatch Foundation and not a sponsored project. We therefore rely on citizens who could commit their time i.e one day/week. While the works largely include field work but a good amount desktop job will be also required. We need volunteers to commit one day in a week.
Six-month Project Activity Calendar
1.Anybody between 15-65 are eligible to volunteer
2. Working in wild comes with its own dangers, you agree to participate at your own risk
3. By signing up you agree in case of any accident during our programme which is beyond our limit, iNaturewatch Foundation and its associates will be not held responsible.
4. Parents bringing their children are responsible for them, we do not encourage volunteering by younger children.
1. Recognition/Certificate is given as and when needed 2. Special discounts/free pass is given to paid programmes 3. Invitation to special events 4. Mentoring and training as and when required 5. Professional assignments as deemed fit.
We started with conducting Tourist perception surveys at the Kharghar Valley. Six volunteers carried out a this survey. Altogether 26 respondents took the survey which included 6 women and 20 men between the age group of 20-40. Most of the tourists felt there was need of dustbins at the site to reduce littering. This survey also got us few new volunteers who wanted to join our initiative. In the second week we conducted repairs of pathways with help of school students. We continue to repair the pathways as there are deep furrows on the trail. Also some of our previous work has been vandalized by unknown people, we will therefore spend this month repairing our past works.
The first week began with celebration of World Environment Day where contour bunds were built on the slopes. A checkdam was built on the dry stream. The second and third week was dedicated for trail development and plantation of seed balls along the pathway. Around 15 volunteers joined us each Sunday to complete a track of 1 km. A monsoon flora study was also formed to document the floral diversity. A group of five volunteers signed up and they agreed to map the vegetation on three trails of the Kharghar Valley. In the fourth week, more contour bunds were created on upper slopes of the valley and a pond was developed into waterholes. The volunteers celebrated Van Mahotsav by planting the seed balls of tree species along the pathway.
In the first week, we started with four volunteers who joined us for a wildplants seed collection drive. They collected seeds from 12 species of herbs, shrubs and trees. The second week followed by development of seed balls of the collected seeds. Six volunteers helped in making more than 700 seed balls. These balls were stored for future plantation. In the third week , we celebrated International Biodiversity Day by conducting a pre-monsoon biodiversity survey. Four volunteers joined us for this survey and helped in collecting data for 25 species of birds (78 individuals), 26 species of plants (100 individuals), four species of insects (50 individuals) and two species of lizards (8 individuals).