Not just planting a million trees..but reviving a forest

By Swanzal Kak Kapoor

“The forest is a peculiar organism of unlimited kindness and benevolence that makes no demands for its sustenance and extends generously the products of its life and activity; it affords protection to all beings”

 – Buddhist Sutra


 In one corner of Gurgaon, a dream is slowly taking shape. Over 350 acres of scarred land is being slowly restored to a green oasis within our rapidly developing city. For the first time, environmental degradation is being countered and the native Aravali forest that once existed is being reclaimed.

The iamgurgaon team has been working with the Municipal Corporation Gurgaon to nurture the vision of a space that can heal our frayed nerves and help citizens from all walks of life to reconnect with Nature. Truly, the Aravali Biodiversity Park is a home for many lives!

Since its inception on World Environment Day, June 5th, 2010 the park has become a living example of ecological, sustainable design solutions through its stone gabion boundary wall, porous concrete walking paths, water recharging parking lot and much more. Located near the Guru Dronacharya metro station, the park is a window into a world of dramatic cliff faces, softly undulating grasses and the quiet solitude of the natural world.


“The wilderness and the idea of wilderness is one of the permanent homes of the human spirit”

– Joseph Wood Krutch


Over the last four years,65,000 saplings have taken root in the park as part of the milliontreesgurgaon project initiated by iamgurgaon in 2011. Many of these saplings have been grown in our two native plant nurseries at the park supported by Coke and KPMG.

The path has not been easy…guided by naturalist, Vijay Dhasmana, the nursery team has collected seeds from forest nurseries, experimented with different plant propogation methods and aims to grow over 150-200 native Aravali trees, shrubs and climbers. Many of these species are being reintroduced to this part of the Aravalis, having been lost due to environmental degradation.


“ There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it.”

  – Minnie Aumonier


Along this journey, a large part of the joy has been seeing the fulfillment in the eyes of the many schoolchildren, corporate volunteers and citizens who have experienced the simple joy of planting a tree and connected with the rugged beauty of this beautiful forest in the making, the Aravali Biodiversity Park.

While our dream may take a few years to become a reality, as the saplings grow with each passing year, we urge you to join us: plant a tree, volunteer, help us raise funds. Come and experience the magic of the Park.. let us gift our city a treasure that will keep on giving.


Comments (3)

  • The short sighted callousness of the government–whoever the persons involved might be–is an assault on the future. Gurgaon’s underground water levels are so perilously low that many believe that the city will not be viable if the environment is degraded further. Being on of India’s premiere new cities and home to some of the largest manufacturing and business sites, the finest housing in the country, and with the potential of becoming India’s number one city, these bureaucrats and politicians, blinded by greed and ignorance of the environmental factors involved will make a wreck of its future. They even deny that Mangar Bani is a forest!! We residents have to keep a barrage of petitions and protests to awaken their conscience. This is imperative. The Aravalis have to be preserved, saved, and the forest cover expanded.

    Veena Oldenburg
    • Very insightful, Veena. Haryana currently has only 4-5% forest cover and even that is under threat. Now that you have mentioned the Mangar issue, I would request you to please sign the online petition at for saving the Aravalis. Please inform as many people as possible. iamgurgaon is already trying to get as many signatures as possible. We need 50,000 signatures for this petition to be a success. If we are able to achieve this target we can pressurize the Haryana government to reconsider their decision and help save the Mangar and consequently, the water security of Gurgaon.

  • I live in South city 1.Recently it is observed some trees are getting dried up.can u help retrieve them and plant some trees in vicinity on june5,2016


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