The Iloilo Tree Park Network Project will establish eco-forests in three districts

The Iloilo City Government continues to take initiatives in sustaining the environmental needs of the metropolis for the benefit of the people.

On top of the priorities is the proposed Tree Park Network Project which will establish eco-forests in three districts namely: Tree Park at Lanit, Jaro; Beach Forest at Boulevard, Molo; and Mangrove Eco-park at Hinactacan, La Paz.

Mayor Jerry Treñas initiated the intensified greening and massive tree-planting program all over the metro.

“A plan to connect the city’s plazas, esplanade, and tree parks via a network of bicycle lanes is being developed. In this way, by connecting these important public facilities with green lanes we can truly call this project the city’s Tree Park Network,” Executive Assistant for Environment Engr. Noel Hechanova said.

Planting activities of various tree species have started at Beach Forest along the coast of Brgy. Boulevard, Molo as City Hall has partnered with the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and Globe.

Filling works are also being implemented at Brgy. Lanit, Jaro to elevate the site suitable for planting trees and preventing flooding. City Hall has partnered with the United Architects of the Philippines (UAP)-Bahandi Chapter which has creatively crafted the design of the tree park.

The promotion of the welfare of the Ati people is included in the plans, making the initiative inclusive.

The added attractions include lagoons, an art gallery, and a display center wherein the native products of IPs will be offered to visitors.

It aims to provide more green spaces to mitigate the effects of climate change and restore biodiversity in the city.

These will provide additional recreational facilities for the public, and opportunities to bring the constituents closer to nature to support efforts to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The Iloilo tree parks vie to become an avenue for world-class architecture, design, and environmental conservation models that may lead the city to its greater heights, such as international recognition.

It will feature innovations such as park programs to engage students, teachers, and communities to learn about trees, forests, biodiversity, their importance, and values.

The city’s open spaces are now being brought to a higher level of function and the tree parks will fulfill the purpose of promoting community stewardship of green spaces and raising ecological awareness through education and outreach.

Each park will feature a theme that will be separate and distinct from one another and will host indoor exhibits, walkways, or boardwalks for walking tours and areas for community activities.

The 3-hectare Iloilo Tree Park will function as an arboretum or botanical garden that will feature a collection of different species of native trees and shrubs, to promote appreciation and conservation of native trees.

An activity center will be for the first inhabitants of Panay, the Ati, with several families now living in the community nearby, where can hold discussions about the environment.

The eco-friendly attraction will feature an exhibit area, indigenous trees, Ati Livelihood Center, Amphitheater, Bee Farm, and park trails.

Iloilo Tree Park in Lanit, Jaro, Iloilo City
Iloilo Tree Park in Lanit, Jaro, Iloilo City

The 1.6-hectare Beach Forest will be composed of an open cottage, sunset area, sunrise area, nursery, pavilion, and docking area where identified beach trees will be planted and preserved.

It will be complemented by indoor exhibits that will feature coastal plants, coastal marine life, and the city’s coastal environmental profile.

Beach Forest in Boulevard, Molo, Iloilo City

The 35-hectare Mangrove Eco-park will have a visitor’s learning center, gazebo orchidarium, pond, palmetum, boardwalk, arboretum, and bambusetum.

It is envisioned to be a learning and promotion center for the protection of mangroves.

The visitor center to be constructed will function as a mangrove exhibit center and will serve as a learning center.

The City Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) supervises the project in collaboration with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR-6 ), Global Business Corporation, and other partnering agencies.

Eco-Park in Hinactacan, La Paz, Iloilo City

These tree parks aim to restore biodiversity in the metropolis, not only through tree planting but also by ensuring that the species will be back in their natural habitat.

All these will promote plant and animal diversity, benefiting both present and future generations of the Ilonggo community. (Angelo Miranda/ Iloilo City PIO)