Habitat Creation and Restoration
A Participatory Conservation Model
Nature Mates promotes Urban Biodiversity Gardening as a measure to empower conservation efforts. To achieve this, we use butterflies as our ambassador species for such gardening. A butterfly garden is nothing but creating a habitat consisting of various indigenous floras selected with certain inputs from the already existing biodiversity of the place. By planting native plant species which provide food for everyone: fresh green leaves for caterpillars, and floral resources (pollen and nectar) for pollinators and many more. After the plantation is over, regular monitoring of the place becomes essential to improve it to the next stage. Working with nature is a slow and continuous process. One can only wait and watch to see the result of their intervention over a period of time.
Urban Green Corners
We also create specialized gardens with focal theme like Aroma Garden, Medicinal Plant Garden, Dessert Garden, Aquatic Gardens and gardens with special requirements. All our gardens are mostly gardens of indigenous plants and with plants of foreign origin but have been well adopted by local fauna by now.
Actually, we creates habitat in the disguise of a garden!!
Why not start nature conservation in your backyard?
Wetland Restoration and Creation
Wetlands are the most vulnerable habitat across the globe and they are very crucial form of habitat. Hence, Nature Mates have always tried to restore various wetlands around the urban settlement to allow the biodiversity dependent on them to thrive well. The Idea of restoration is simple; it is done with respect to the various species inhabiting the place. Restoration is not at all a process of developing aesthetics, it is a process of facilitating the inhabitants in a way that they feel comfortable and stay back in the habitat. So depending on the flora and fauna available and the historical records of the place with us we have done restoration of Santragacchi Jheel, Purbasthali Lake, Bikramgarh Jheel and many other ponds in the city.
We have also created wetlands within developmental projects with native flora and fauna so that wetland dependent species around that place can find some refuge and increase in number.
Santragacchi Jheel Restoration
We have cleaned and restored the Santragachhi Jheel during September – November 2011. It was a huge success then. Various media covered our work with a lot of praise. It was one of the major crowd-funded projected executed by Nature Mates at that point of time. Since then we have maintained the Jheel during 2018, again with crowd funding. In 2019, West Bengal Biodiversity Board, funded the entire process of vegetation management. This year, the board has again appointed us for the vegetation management of Santragachhi Jheel. Howrah Municipal Corporation is also helping us in this regards. As of now we are pursuing this work successfully for four consecutive years and the intensity of the work has also escalated to a much higher level. The effort is also bringing the reward as the number of migratory birds arriving at the lake every winter is showing a steady and healthy rising graph.
Purbasthali Lake Restoration
In the year 2012, we have partially cleaned the Purbasthali Oxbow Lake, as well as in the year 2013 with the help of Magma Fincorp. The lake was badly blocked due to uncontrolled growth of water hyacinth which were gradually becoming a big threat to the lake's overall health. Those were manually cleaned and was made feasible for wintering birds to find a safe refuge. Also a navigable route was created to monitor the migratory birds. Locals were also made aware that how the water-body can actually help them for a better life. As a result, the endangered wetland was resurrected and with the local community taking the responsibility it is successfully sustaining with good health at present.
Bikramgarh Lake Restoration
We have cleaned the restored the Bikramgarh Jheel during April 2012. The work was supported by various people and organizations. Media has given us good coverage.
We have also cleaned and restored the Sahid Nagar Bankplot Jheel during March 2013. The Jheel was restored to its original state.
Tree Transplantation and Restoration
Loads of trees were restored after every storm since then. This year post Amphan, many people as well as government body came forward and appointed us for restoring trees of private premises, housing complexes, trees of Rabindra Sarovar, Subhash Sarovar, Jadavpur University and Calcutta Zoo.
So far we have restored more than 230 trees during post Amphan period. As a whole we have restored more than 700 trees with an average of 70% success rate.