The first ever moss garden in the country is ready. The recently-inaugurated garden — spread across an area of around 10 hectares — has come up in Nainital district in Kumaon (Uttarakhand). Approved in July 2019 under the CAMPA (State Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority) scheme by the Research Advisory Committee of Uttarakhand Forest Department, the moss garden was inaugurated by Ramon Magsaysay awardee and water conservation activist Rajendra Singh.
According to numerous reports, it took nearly two years to fully build this garden. Also known as the ‘Water Man of India’, Singh appreciated the efforts of the Uttarakhand Forest Department, saying it is a great initiative to mend relationships between man and nature.
According to a PTI report, the idea to develop the garden came about so that the various species of moss and other bryophytes are conserved and people are made aware of its significance in the environment, besides also creating a recreation centre for tourists, Chief Conservator of Forest Sanjiv Chaturvedi, who also heads the research wing of the state forest department, said.
It is being said the garden is home to around 30 different species of moss and various other bryophytes. Chaturvedi has said brachythecium buchananii and hyophila involuta (also known as cement moss) are two moss species that feature in the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) red list. Additionally, a moss trail of 1.2 km has also been set up here, on which guests can read about the various moss species, any scientific information on them, etc.
Interestingly, the garden also features a dinosaur model displaying the existence of moss since the Jurassic era, ornaments made of live moss (popular in Japan), moss terrarium depicting live moss ecosystem and nest of birds using moss for temperature regulation and antibacterial purposes.
Additionally, poems and caricatures related to moss are also displayed in the garden, the report mentions.
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