11 November, CNR, Lobesa: If Bhutan today is still among the top biological hotspots in the world, if major chunk of our land is still under forest cover, it’s all because of the farsighted vision of His Majesty the fourth Druk Gyalpo. Hence, College of Natural Resources in Lobesa developed and established an Arboretum, a campus floristic garden, which is a befitting symbol of tribute to His Majesty’s 60th birth anniversary on 11 November this year.
The faculty members, in-service degree and diploma forestry students of the college, over a period of last three months, conceived and executed the Arboretum where, within the premises of the college, an area was delineated and planted with different species of plants. Some 230 seedlings consisting of 20 tree species from Bhutan’s native broadleaved forests were planted within the area of 3911 sq.m of land. The species planted includes Cassia spp., Quercus spp., Sisoo, Terminalia belerica, Mesus ferres, Gulmohar, Dendrocalamus spp, Ficus bengalensis etc. In addition, two gazebos as resting and contemplating stop points were constructed connected by the nature trail snaking within the Arboretum.
According to College’s Dean of Students’ Affairs, Ugyen Thinley, who was closely engaged in the project, Arboretum is the best tribute to His Majesty the fourth Druk Gyalpo. “Our fourth Monarch has done so much for the forests and nature conservation, this little effort from us is a tribute to what he has done,” said Ugyen Thinley.
Leki, an in-service degree student, who coordinated the project, said that the Arboretum, at an infant stage, does not look much of an attraction. “However,” he said, “the area, in the years to come, is expected to transform into one major spot of attraction for campus and a solace for the soul searching visitors”.
“The location of Arboretum provides sweeping and panoramic view of the Punakha-Wangdue valley, which is an ideal location to ooze out the mental stress and physical weariness,” supplemented Kinley Tshering, another in-service degree student.
However, one of the most important benefits of the Arboretum, as per the initial idea conceived is, a patch of different species of broadleaved trees in the Chirpine zone will immensely benefit the faculty and students of the colleges as the area is expected to cater to the learning of broadleaved botany, which otherwise, is possible only by traveling out of the College.
In addition, the area can also accommodate scientific studies on broadleaved species by the students of the college. With such facility available in the campus, the college will save lots of expenditure in terms of not having to take the students out of the campus for learning.
The Arboretum will be maintained regularly by refilling the seedlings. With immense dedications by the students in proper care of the seedlings, the first round of plantation witnessed a 71 percent survival rate. The refilling jacked up the survival to 80 percent and it will be continued in the next season. The college has also plan to extend the area and continue with development and improvement of the arboretum.
The inauguration of the Arboretum was done by Dr. D.B Gurung, the chief guest to invoke and underscore the significance of commemoration of 60th birth anniversary of His Majesty the Drukgyal Zhipa on 11 November 2014 in addition to other events dedicated for His Majesty.
Reported by: Ugyen Tshering, BSc. Forestry, CNR.
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