Summary: There is a clear case for promoting eco-tourism in certain parts of the region. To give a few examples, Karanai reserve forest is just 4 km from Navalur. The Sonallur reserve forest may be only twice that distance away. In the last week of March, Chennai District National Green Corps organised a field trip to the Nanmangalam reserve forest and Pallikaranai marsh for students. On the Medavakkam-Mambakkam Road, there is the Madurapakkam reserve forest.
Old Mahabalipuram Road and surrounding areas have a glut of schools that come under streams that attach great importance to innovative teaching. Have these institutions considered teaching their students the concepts of botany, zoology, geography and ecology with their immediate environment as study aid? In other words, do they organise field trips in the region? In the last week of March, Chennai District National Green Corps organised a field trip to the Nanmangalam reserve forest and Pallikaranai marsh for students. According to a press note, the students were drawn from government, corporation, aided and matriculation schools.
The effort is indeed salutary. While admitting that both the Nanmangalam RF and Pallikaranai marsh have many lessons in natural science for students, it should be pointed out that there are other options that remain largely unexercised. Besides these usual suspects (Nanmangalam forest and Palliakaranai marsh), the region abounds in many reserve forests, hills and lakes, and with permission from the Forest Department and the Public Works Department, students could be taken on a tour to explore them.
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