A field trip was organised for the students of Indraprastha College for Women to the Yamuna Biodiversity Park, a flagship project of Ecological Restoration in an urban setting, in February 2015. The Yamuna Biodiversity Park is located in North Delhi and has attempted to recreate the original riverine ecosystem that River Yamuna is supposed to have in Delhi.
The Field Trip began with introductory remarks about biodiversity conservation and the efforts being made at the Yamuna Biodiversity Park by the Park authorities. This was followed by a visit to the Nature Interpretation Centre (NIC) which has been curated near the entry point to the Park. The NIC provided the students with basic understanding of the various stages through which the Park has undergone, from being a barren piece of land and a fruit orchard supporting the thorny Zizyphus to a fully functional and self-sustaining riverine ecosystem that it is today.
This was followed by a visit to various zones of the Yamuna Biodiversity Park (Phase I) including the two wetlands located inside it. The students were shown several species of herbs and trees that were once found aplenty in Delhi’s urban ecosystem, but have become considerably reduced in number in the city. The two wetlands served as sites of spotting waterfowl, including some migratory species of birds as well. The discussion around the migration of birds and ability of the Park to provide a habitat for them was a good learning experience for the students, as was the overall trip experience.