An enlightening Nature Walk organized by Viganya Giri for a few MLZS Grade 7 students


 Most of us in Bangalore would have visited LalBagh the botanical garden in Bangalore a number of times. We have heard stories about how Tipu Sultan and his family had contributed to the garden. The Mango Festival, flower show and the long morning walks have been the highlight of any visit to Lalbagh. But have you heard about a Nature Walk that happens in LalBagh? This walk with naturalist Mr. Srinivasa or Mr, Prasad and Mr. Prasanth could leave you amazed at what this garden holds!
We tied up with “Kids For Tigers” an environmental education programme for schools across India. The programme aims to bring out the vital connection between the survival of the tiger and the ecological security of the Indian subcontinent. You can find them herhttp://www.kidsfortigers.org/.
Master Bharath and Miss Ankitha of 7th grade were selected as the representative of the school for this programme. They were invited for a nature walk of 1.5 hours. It was surprising to know that this walk could give us so much information and invoke a sense of curiosity about how the nature has evolved and adapted to the changing climate and conditions. The detailed account of this trip will also be given by Ankitha and Bharath in detail in a blogpost which will follow soon.
But now it’s time for the teachers account on the experience!
A half hour car ride took us to the botanical garden. The ride itself left me surprised, because as soon as we got into the car, both Ankitha and Bharath took their books out and started reading! Yes indeed. It ended up as a silent ride. I was not expecting the children to carry books on an excursion at all. It left me wondering when did they get so serious about learning??
Once we reached the park, all the energy that Bharath had saved by being silent, found a release. He had to run around and take a look at everything. Even the grass! And both of them were full of stories about the many time they visit the part with their family. This slow march led us to the glass house, where Ms. Usha- the coordinator was waiting for us. She took our registrations and gave each one a copy of the sanctuary cub magazine.
And their reaction upon receiving the magazine left me astounded again! Bharath was all too excited that at having got a Rs. 50 worth of book for free!!! Secretly, I guessed this was the eefect of financial education that we so painstakingly instill in our children.
The next surprise came in when we were put into 2 different groups. I decided to accompany Ankitha as I did not want to leave a female child alone. But before I could go and to talk with Ms. Usha to take care of Bharth, Ankitha stopped me and said, “Maám, why don’t you join Bharath’s team , he keeps running around” though initially confused, later I was really proud of Ankitha for being so responsible and tone did have “ I will take care maam” approach.
Thus began our Nature Walk. There were at least 1000 little words about each tree, leaf, flower, bird, butterfly that came our way. The information delivered was to the point and Mr. Prashanth did stop giving information at the just the right places which left a lot of questions in the student’s mind. Proof- on the way back, Bharath did say “maám, I have a lot of questions to ask sir. May be I can browse and find out”. We did decide on the return ride that we would contact them through mail with all our curious questions.
Bharath and Ankitha would be giving a full account of the detailed noted that they had taken, because I was busy taking photographs and watching out for Bharath and Ankitha.
But for now keep pondering on the below questions…
Where do weep willow trees grow and why?
How do the bees communicate and why?
What does Lichen Indicate?
How has nature designed leaves to protect themselves from rain
What is the difference between seeing and observing?