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Letting butterflies flutter by

Competitions for school students at the Tropical Butterfly Conservatory near Srirangam and awareness programmes in other places in the district marked International Day of Forests on Wednesday.

At the Tropical Butterfly Conservatory, 74 students of Government High School, Melur, took part in painting, elocution, essay and quiz competitions. The students released butterflies reared by them in the presence of Forest Range Officer of Tiruchi Range Balakrishnan and Zoo and Park Range Officer Murugesan.

The students were sensitised to the imperative need for expanding green cover in order to recharge groundwater, ensure proper rainfall, and generate adequate oxygen in the atmosphere, besides preventing climatic changes. They were initiated into planting saplings.

The World Forestry Day celebration will be extended to a week at the park. The visitors will be invited to plant saplings, sources said.

Greenery in the butterfly conservatory, the largest of its kind, is an oasis of greenery with hundreds of grown nectar plants, host plants and roofing plants, and will be further increased during the week, sources said.

Elsewhere in the district, saplings were planted by District Forest Officer D. Sujatha and other senior officials in the office campus in the city.

In Thuraiyur range, department officials explained to students of Uppilliyapuram Government School the significance of the theme for this year’s celebration of International Day of Forests - Forests and Sustainable Cities: Let's make our cities greener, healthier, happier places to live!

The department has been trying to improve the forest area in the district beyond the 10% level by focussing attention on restoring the green cover in degraded forest areas. About 10,000 palmyra saplings have been planted along the boundary demarcating the forest area in Thuraiyur range, the DFO said.

Be it Earth Day, Water Day, Wildlife Day or any such occasion related to forests, the department has been involving school students for planting saplings. A positive outcome is also expected out of the seed ball initiative undertaken by some educational institutions and nature clubs, she added.


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