With more and more trees making way for development projects in the Garden City, ‘Neralu’, a crowd-funded, volunteer-driven tree festival will celebrate these “silent martyrs” on February 18 and 19. Coinciding with the blooming season when trees burst into colours, nature-lovers will get together to celebrate tales of trees in the third edition of the fest.
The event will have activities like walks, nature journalling, biomimicry and audio walks among others. They will be conducted near the Cubbon Park Metro station and at the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA).
For those who go to parks for morning walks but know little about their history, Harini Nagendra, a professor at Azim Premji University will trace Bengaluru’s ecological history. An expert on socio-ecological sustainability, Nagendra will go back to 6th century AD and show how nature strives and thrives in public, private, community and sacred spaces.
Parents and children can look at nature in new light through the nature-journalling session at NGMA where they can explore diverse patterns, designs, colours and textures of trees. ‘Neralu’ also went to schools in the city a month in advance to engage students in projects like tree census, tree scrapbook and adopt-a-tree. Special tree walks will be organised for students.
This year, ‘Neralu’ will collaborate with Srishti Institute of Art, Design & Technology to host events near the Metro station. A street play by Kaleido, a storytelling session by Vikram Sridhar on mythology and writings surrounding trees and a music performance by Vipul Rikhi will be held near the Metro station.
“We want to try and reach out to new audiences and people who travel by the Metro as well,” said Poornima Kannan, a volunteer and organiser.
Vasu Dixit of Swarathma band and Bindhumalini Narayanaswamy will perform at the event.