The site of this park used to be an abandoned and overgrown plot with a nullah at one end. Naturally it became a dumping ground of sorts, an eyesore and generally a unhealthy place. As part of its CSR initiatives, the Zensar Foundation (Zensar is an IT company that is located close by) partnered the PMC to develop this plot into a biodiversity plot. They recruited experts who reused a lot of rocks and soil from the area to create something unique. Specially chosen plants helped attract butterflies – these provided them food and also a place to lay eggs.In fact the garden layout itself is in the shape of a butterfly!
The rocks have been artistically placed to create a wonderful fountain and a waterfall. Medicinal, aromatic and flowering and indigenous species have been planted and some are specifically to encourage kids to explore their sense of smell, touch, sight and taste.
The high point is the small but thriving shrub of Frerea indica – a species that has been brought back from brink of extinction.
A stark reminder of the damage to the environment is in the form of a ‘graveyard’ with placards for species that have become extinct.
In fact, there is a small nursery where the gardeners are happy to give visitors saplings of plants in their garden. For free. I came away with Marjorum and Basil saplings that are happily growing in my balcony.
A park that every Punekar should be proud of!
Time: 6AM to 10AM and 4PM to 8PM
Parking: On the road
Location Map here.