Iloilo City Eyes ‘Tree Park’

More than a week before the new local officials assume their post, the city government’s incoming mayor has already relayed his intent to establish a “Tree Park” and to conduct a citywide tree planting activity.

Head of the City Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO), Noel Hechanova, said in an interview that one of his assignments from incoming mayor Jerry P. Treñas is to establish a “Tree Park”.

However, except for mangroves, Iloilo City has no forest.

“If we have a place where we can plant trees, then the place could create its own ecology. Then the public has a place to visit and they would understand what a forest is,” Hechanova said.

He added that the park could form part of the school curriculum in science or biology or any other subject where it can be integrated.

Hechanova said they will look for a donor for even a hectare of land that can be converted into an urban forest.

The donor must be willing to do away with the property for at least 25 years or even permanently, he said, adding that they have to think of an incentive that could be extended to the donor.

Hechanova pointed out that Barangay San Rafael in Mandurriao district or Barangay Hinactacan in La Paz district would make ideal sites for the tree park.

Meanwhile, Hechanova invited stakeholders to join the citywide tree planting on July 6.

“This is part of the instructions of the incoming mayor to have a citywide tree planting,” he said, noting that the activity will cover the stretch of the circumferential and radial roads, as well as the mangrove reforestation area in Hinactacan.

Hechanova said they target to plant more than 2,000 fruit-bearing trees and mangroves in these identified areas, hoping to inspire the public to plant more trees.

The seedlings will be sourced from the City Agriculture nursery, Department of Environment and Natural Resources. and the Department of Agriculture.

In an interview Thursday, City Agriculturist Romulo Pangantihon said they are clearing of the more or less 1.8-km. circumferential road from Barangay Buhang to Barangay Balabago in Jaro district in preparation for the citywide tree planting.

The activity will last for 2 hours starting at 6 a.m. (PNA)

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