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Vengai Vanam

Shebi S, Sowmiya M, Priyan D & Maria Antony Xavier M

A tiny forest, also known as a "miniature forest" or "urban micro-forest," is a small-scale, densely planted area designed to mimic the structure and functions of a natural forest ecosystem. It's a biodiverse and sustainable approach to urban greening that brings the benefits of a natural forest into urban environments.

The tiny forest is designed to create a thriving ecosystem within a compact space, providing various ecological, social, and environmental benefits. The design draws inspiration from the complexity and diversity of natural forests, aiming to create a self-sustaining and resilient ecosystem in an urban context.

Plant Selection:
A diverse mix of native plant species is carefully selected to replicate the layering found in natural forests, including canopy, understory, shrub, and ground cover layers. Native species are chosen to support local wildlife, pollinators, and beneficial insects while requiring minimal maintenance.

Biodiversity and Habitat Creation:
The chosen plant species are not only aesthetically pleasing but also provide food, shelter, and nesting sites for birds, insects, and other wildlife. The diversity of plant species encourages a range of animals to inhabit the area, contributing to the overall ecosystem health.

The tiny forest is designed to require minimal maintenance once established. Native plants are naturally adapted to the local climate and soil conditions, reducing the need for supplemental irrigation or fertilizers. Organic mulch and leaf litter from the plants help retain moisture, improve soil structure, and promote nutrient cycling.
The proposal tiny forest has been classified into various zones.
• Aquatic zone
• Riparian zone
• Lowland forest
• Woodland
• Upland forest
• Grassland
Plant species has been selected according to this zone.

Creating a lake in a forest can offer numerous ecological, aesthetic, and recreational benefits.

It is the process of using living organisms, such as plants, bacteria, and fungi, to clean up and restore contaminated environments, including lakes in forests.

METHOD Urban Forests uses the Miyawaki method to create urban forests. The Miyawaki Method is one of the most effective tree planting methods for creating forest cover quickly on degraded land that has been used for other purposes such as agriculture or construction. It is effective because it is based on natural reforestation principles, i.e. using trees native to the area and replicating natural forest regeneration processes. It has some significant benefits over more traditional forestry methods when used in smaller afforestation projects and is particularly effective in the urban environment. The trees planted by this method grow much faster, jump starting the forest creation process and capturing more carbon. Higher biodiversity has been recorded in Miyawaki forests than in neighbouring woodland, so it’s an ideal method for creating diverse forest ecosystems quickly.

What are the benefits?
• Trees in a Miyawaki forest grow up to ten times faster at around a metre per year, reaching a stable multi-layered forest community in 20 to 30 years instead of hundreds of years.
• The growing trees absorb more carbon in a Miyawaki forest than in a plantation or in standard afforestation projects because they grow more quickly and there are thirty times as many The Miyawaki method has been successful where other planting projects have failed, such as in arid Mediterranean habitats, due to high survival rates.
• Native trees thrive in the conditions to which they are adapted and are more resilient to environmental changes.
• Miyawaki forests have been found to have far higher biodiversity than neighbouring woodland, on average 18 times higher.

• Improve the micro-climatic conditions of the region.
• Native trees planted will act as filters for urban pollutants and fine particulates that affect the region.
• Regulate flow of water and improves water quality.
• Act as carbon sequesters and help in mitigating climate change.
• Provide a natural habitat, food and protection for the local flora and fauna to thrive in an urban setup.
• Urban afforestation projects are said to have a positive impact on the society, by improving the aesthetic environment of the region.
• Planting native trees require minimal maintenance once they attain full growth.
Native trees such as Neem, Pongamia, Bamboo, Arjun, Banyan, and Peepal will help achieve the above goals.

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