The Lagos State Parks and Gardens Agency (LASPARK) has established an Urban Forest park to bring residents close to nature, as the state marks the 2021 World Environment Day (WED).
In establishing the part, LASPARK was complementing the Lagos State Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources’ programmes marking the 2021 WED with the theme: “Ecosystem Restoration”.
The LASPARK General Manager, Adetoun Popoola, said, while inaugurating the park, that the measure was to further create a green belt in the metropolis, to balance the ecosystem and preserve biodiversity.
Popoola told newsmen that the agency was committed to changing the state’s landscape to conform with an acceptable eco-plan, despite its urban status.
She regretted the earlier environmental setbacks at the Abraham Adesanya Estate, along the Lekki-Epe Expressway, the location of the park, which measured 17,256 sq. metres.
The LASPARK chief executive noted that the space was the scene of heavy, unauthorised trading, artisan activities, and unlawful waste disposal, that resulted in the clogging of the drainage from the expressway.
She lamented that the space, which was meant to meet residents’ aspiration for a close-to-nature estate, served as a hideout for nefarious activities, posing security risks to motorists, pedestrians and the immediate community.
According to her, the space was handed over to LASPARK for development, after the state ministry of environment and water resources had dislodged the illegal occupants.
“The establishment of an urban forest park in the place will also meet public aspirations, though in another form.
“Portions of the area were allocated to organisations who indicated interest to partner LASPARK by adopting and developing the spaces at no cost to the state.
”Individuals, SMEs, corporate organisations and NGOs are encouraged to ‘adopt’ open spaces, parks and gardens in line with the agency’s drive for a beautiful, healthy and sustainable environment by putting to good use open spaces that have already been landscaped or earmarked for beautification.
“Thus, it will provide opportunities for the development of scenic, ornamental and edible gardens as well as plant nurseries,” she said.
Popoola added that the entire space was now taken up by no less than 500 ornamental and economic trees, of varied species that attract birds and butterflies, thereby encouraging the preservation of biodiversity.
She tasked residents to be environmentally friendly by establishing gardens and be involved in patronising single-use plastics and waste recycling, to foster a healthy environment.
The place consists of a spiral loop trail for walking and jogging, dotted with garden seats, fun wall art, solar-powered security lights.
The garden provides for recreation, where both adults and children can play, read, relax and even purchase indoor and outdoor plants, and flowers, to take home.
Since 1947, the United Nations had set aside June 5 as World Environment Day, to encourage worldwide awareness and action to protect the environment.
By Uchenna Eletuo