Habitat restoration is more than planting trees

Last night, Ridge View Residential College’s Dr Chua Siew Chin and I discussed the steps we would need for the habitat restoration programme we have undertaken at Chestnut Nature Park, with participation from the community through Friends of Chestnut Nature Park.

Two community enrichment planting events have been facilitated by NParks who provide a good mix of species amongst the 50 stems. With their supervision, the community is quite easily able to plant trees, which is both exhilarating and educational. So we will pin down a few dates this year for everyone to plan.

That activity motivates us to discuss the outstanding issues – long-term aspects which are tougher to carry out: seed and seedling collection, nursery work (being carried out by UWC), weeding out aggressive species (assisted natural regeneration), soil and leaf litter sampling, phenology monitoring and a youth education programme.

Now that we hammered out a draft plan, we will flesh it out into a proposal and seek reviews. This is not something we will achieve overnight, but with half-yearly markers, it will move along.

Dovetailing it with likeminded individuals and programmes will certainly help. And in the college (RVRC) we will offer a multiple-component programme as a Forum in the new Year 2 programme.

If you are interested in forest work, let us know!